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Google Hints That Press Releases Are Treated Differently in Search Results Here’s How Google Ranks Press Releases, According to John Mueller

author image Written by: Rob May           Categories - In The News, SEO

Publicists and communications directors use press releases to get the word out. Journalists and bloggers, meanwhile, use press releases as an information-dense source for articles.

If press releases are so important to so many people, why don’t they produce better SEO results?

Comments made by Google Trends Analyst John Mueller on a recent livestream might give some insight on why.

Mueller discussed the topic on a Google hangout broadcasted on Feb. 19. The livestream was part of a series of broadcasts hosted by members of Google Search Central, which is Google’s site optimization hub. This installment included a discussion on press releases and their performance in searches.

The discussion began when SEO Michael Lewittes mentioned that he often saw news articles rank higher in searches than the press releases they stem from.

We know that Google favours original content. So why would duplicated content rank higher than a press release – the ultimate form of original content for journalism?

Mueller explains that, while Google tries to distinguish original content from copycats, some pieces are bound to slip through the cracks.

“I think in most cases we try to recognize situations where exactly the same article is being republished and then to treat that accordingly in search by showing the original,” he explained. “But there are lots of cases where we can’t recognize that completely.”

Following those comments, SEO Robb Young asks if Google actively distinguishes press releases from other kinds of content. Mueller responds by explaining that Google tries to note them, but doesn’t always differentiate:

“I think to some extent we probably try to recognize press releases and understand that these pieces of content that are just republished in lots of places and try to act accordingly to that. But otherwise it’s just content. It’s kind of like if I write a blog post or a news article, it’s essentially a piece of content to us.”

Ultimately, Mueller’s comments don’t give a whole lot of clarity. We’re still not sure exactly what it is that makes press releases perform the way they do, or if Google has plans for the future to help these pieces rank higher.

Still, Mueller’s comments must be somewhat relieving for anyone who has been confused by Google’s approach to ranking press releases.

Rob May

Google’s Spam Update Has Rolled Out

10/25/2022

Last week, Google announced the October 2022 Spam Update would be rolling out. The update began on October 19th but it took less than 48 hours to complete, Search Engine Land reports. Users didn’t expect such a quick turnaround from a spam update but here we are.

What Is The Update & How Does It Work?

Google’s October 2022 Spam Update is a new search ranking algorithm. This means its impacts will be visible in search results, however you might be impacted too. This spam update was global and affects all languages, Search Engine Land reports.

Google expected the spam update to take up to a week to rollout but it was quicker than most expected. Users can see on Google’s Search Ranking Updates page where the updated was added and listed as complete on October 21st. Google’s spam update is meant to attack harmful stolen content or malicious websites.

Read More: Google Launches October 2022 Spam Update

Here is what Google says about the October 2022 Spam Update:

“While Google’s automated systems to detect search spam are constantly operating, we occasionally make notable improvements to how they work. When we do, we refer to this as a spam update and share when they happen on our list of Google Search ranking updates. For example, SpamBrain is our AI-based spam-prevention system. From time-to-time, we improve that system to make it better at spotting spam and to help ensure it catches new types of spam.”

Previous Spam Updates

As Google mentions their AI-based spam prevention system, you might be wondering how many spam updates there have been before. And more importantly, what to do if you’re sit has been hit.

When you have a look at Google’s Search Ranking Updates page, users can see that 2021 was a big year for spam updates. The last one rolled out in November 2021 and before that there was a two part update in July.

Read More: Google Offers Insights Into How It Deals With Spam

What Do Users Think About The Update?

Now, you might be wondering what people are saying about the October 2022 Spam update and if many users have been impacted. Here’s what SEO expert Glenn Gabe says about the update and what impacts he sees.

Search Engine Land reports on what users can expect from this update’s impacts.

“Spam updates target specific guideline violations. Google did not say if this was links, content or other forms of spam, but rather just said it is spam-related in general,” says Barry Schwartz. With such a wide gap between spam updates, users could be waiting another year before Google runs one again.

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Smart Campaigns Will Be Gone For Good Soon

07/22/2022

Google began rolling out automatic updates to convert Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max – Search Engine Land reports.

For most users, the updates will finish rolling out in two months. They will receive a notification around 2 or 3 weeks before the updates take effect. They will also be notified of the specific date when the campaigns will be converted. However, some Smart Shopping campaigns, like the ones using vehicle ads, will be completed early next year.

Read More: Google Updated Performance Max Campaigns

Don’t Wait For Google

You don’t have to wait for Google to do this for you. Actually, you shouldn’t – take this into your own hands and have more control over the settings of your campaigns.

If you want to update campaigns on your own, because you’re smart, strong, and pretty – you can do that by using the ‘one click’ upgrade tool.

Whether your campaigns are automatically- or self-upgraded with the tool, all the history and learnings from your previous Smart Shopping Campaigns, along with its settings are automatically transferred over to your new Performance Max campaigns.

Read More: Google Performance Max Getting 7 New Updates

New Ad Creation Tools

Google also launched three new ad creation tools which could help drive better results, especially on YouTube:

  • Asset Storage
  • Video Ad Templates
  • Voice-over Audio

These new tools should help advertising teams out there create and collaborate on campaigns without leaving the ads platform.

Read More: Discovery Ad Users Get Four New Features

Read More: Data-driven Attribution Becomes The Default?

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