Marketing execs, SEO professionals, and PR practitioners have long recognized the unique relationship between PR and SEO.
Many digital marketers believe that public relations and SEO have always been destined to converge. And according to PR Newswire, “Spending some time understanding your organization’s SEO strategy and learning how those results are measured will open up new and exciting opportunities for your PR campaigns.”
They’re all correct. PR has been great for SEO (and vice versa), simply because the two working together allows for more mentions of your brand to reach more people.
But through a recent patent filing, Google may have verified just how closely connected PR and SEO actually are.
SHIFT Communications wrote an awesome piece explaining the patent that you can read here. This is its take on the patent:
“Google is publicly acknowledging that every time your brand gets a mention in a story, that counts as an implied link that affects your SEO. That affects how many links there are to your website, which in turn affects how well your site shows up when someone is searching for your brand. In short, PR is SEO.” Tweet this
In a world where SEO is still a buzzword and PR appears to be trending downward, this patent is groundbreaking because it alludes to the importance of brand awareness through PR and content.
Many of the articles I’ve read about the convergence of PR and SEO focus solely on optimizing press releases for SEO, but that’s not the only thing you need to consider.
It’s possible that these implied links are putting much more emphasis on actual mentions of your brand, which means we need to pay more attention to how we’re representing our brand name in publications (instead of trying to stuff every keyword we can think of into every piece of content).
Others have interpreted Google’s reference to “implied links” to mean unlinked URLs found within content.
We won’t pretend to know what Google has up its sleeve, and we certainly won’t try to decipher an ambiguous patent, but we know one thing for sure: The strength of your content will directly impact your organic search listings. Tweet this
The days of filling your content with keywords and anchor text are dwindling quickly. Thoughtful, quality content written by credible contributors will soon replace this tactic. Google will continue to use on-page signals to determine what you want to see in your search results, but the quality of the content will balance out the other side of your search engine click.
Providing a superior user experience has been Google’s goal from the beginning. (For a recap on the company’s philosophy, check it out here.) If online marketers spent their time crafting unique, quality content instead of fishing for the latest tips and tricks to play search engines, their SEO rankings would move up organically while providing added value to readers and potential customers.
Because search engine algorithms change so frequently, you can rest assured that any shortcuts to search engine success won’t last for long. Spend more time focusing on the value you’re providing to your end user, and you’ll see a substantial long-term ROI on your time.
Google is a dominant player in the search arena, but let’s not forget that other search engines and social platforms are discovering the importance of quality content, too. With so many marketers grasping to understand the patent’s underlying meaning and predict Google’s next move, I think we may be missing the mark on something heavy: Producing valuable content will win 100 percent of the time.
I’m curious to hear your take on what the patent could signal. What do you think it means for the future of PR and SEO?
Post by Franco Puetz, VP of Inbound Marketing at Influence & Co.