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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

TikTok More Popular Than Google In 2021

12/30/2021

For the first time in the last 20 years, Google wasn’t the most popular web address in a year – the title now belongs to TikTok.

The social video app owned by ByteDance has been a key digital platform for a while now. Gaining popularity during the pandemic, TikTok is now an opinion-maker of its kind and a go-to solution for targeting the younger generation, Gen Z.

According to Cloudfare, TikTok gained (and remained) number one in the global ranking on August 10, 2021. Before that, it was a back and forth battle with Google, but since then, the video app has mostly taken the lead.

Even though Google managed to come first again a few times, it didn’t win for the holidays. On Black Friday, TikTok rose again – a key fact for e-commerce businesses that rely on Google during the holidays shopping spree.

In comparison, TikTok was number seven in ranking after Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Amazon in 2020.

The app now has more than 1 billion monthly active users and doubled down on privacy, ad measurement and commerce, so it isn’t surprising that brands and marketers are getting more comfortable with advertising on it. The fact that the number of consumers exposed to ads nearly doubled, going to 37% this year, also helps.

After managing to surpass the potential ban in the U.S last year, TikTok continued attracting users and gaining more downloads. It became the first non-Facebook mobile app to surpass 3 billion downloads.

While staying in touch with its users and adapting to changes such as the return of longer videos, TikTok might have the potential to become a leader in the advertisement in the future.

The Year’s Winners By Cloudfare

Top 10 — Most popular domains (late) 2021

  1.  TikTok.com
  2. Google.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Microsoft.com
  5. Apple.com
  6. Amazon.com
  7. Netflix.com
  8. YouTube.com
  9. Twitter.com
  10. WhatsApp.com

Top 10 — Most popular social media domains (late) 2021

  1. TikTok.com
  2. Facebook.com
  3. YouTube.com
  4. Twitter.com
  5. Instagram.com
  6. Snapchat.com
  7. Reddit.com
  8. Pinterest.com
  9. LinkedIn.com
  10. Quora.com

 

 

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Google’s December Product Reviews Update Now Rolling

12/02/2021

Google is rolling out a new search algorithm update called December 2021 Product Reviews. This is the first major update since April when the update was promoting high-quality product reviews. According to Google, the December update could change how your product reviews rank in search results. The update is currently rolling out for pages in English and will take about three weeks for its full completion.

What does it mean?

As explained by Google – if you have improved your content, good things might happen. Or not happen – you’re never really sure when it comes to Google. In other words – if you’ve made positive changes, you may see improvement with this update. But, since ranking depends on various other things, changes can happen at any time for any reason.

Google also said it had received more feedback from users and realized people like reviews with proof of using the products. They like reviews that seem trustworthy and useful. They also prefer to have more options to buy the product. That’s why it offered some advice.

Google’s Best Practices For Product Reviews

  • Give Evidence – visuals, audio, or other links of your experience with the product. This way, you are supporting your expertise and making your review authentic.
  • Provide Links – include different sellers to give an option of purchasing from your reader’s favourite merchant.

It seems like Google wants you to write high-quality, over-the-top product reviews, not a vague description of the product. Show that your content is more than just a necessity and tell a story in a way you know your customers will like. Test the product, evaluate it from a user’s perspective and explain what sets your product apart from your competitors. Here’s some more advice for writing high-quality product reviews.

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