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The SEO impact of commercial newswire releases

By Lindsey Chastain

Commercial newswire news releases may be an asset, but they must be used judiciously.


A person typing on a computer.Companies often use commercial newswire services to distribute news releases with the goal of securing media placement and reaching a wider audience. But do these paid distribution services actually help with search engine optimization? The short answer is yes, but there are caveats.




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In the past, a newswire service increased the chances online publications would pick up a release, which could get new backlinks to your website. However, this changed after Google's Penguin algorithm update in 2013. The update cracked down on low-quality, artificial, or irrelevant links from news releases.


Now, news releases typically don’t directly lead to news outlets linking back to your site. Many reputable sites actually use no-follow external links within news release content anyway. This means that while you will receive a link to your site, the domain authority of the linking site will not pass to your site via that link. So while increased brand visibility still has value, news releases distributed via paid wires likely won't directly influence backlink-driven SEO factors.

With that said, news releases can still offer indirect SEO value through increased overall brand awareness, increased visibility on media sites, and showcasing your company as an authority in your industry. 


The overuse of commercial newswire services can also seem manipulative. Search engines can actually penalize sites if they detect deliberate attempts to manipulate search rankings. Relying too heavily on the paid distribution of releases containing many of SEO-focused keywords could backfire.


The best approach is to use newswire releases judiciously as part of an integrated PR and SEO strategy. In general, sending a news release with relevant news every six to eight weeks is a good strategic timeline.


Here are some tips:

  • Aim to build relationships with reporters, media outlets, and industry influencers.
  • Promote releases through owned channels like social media to amplify reach.
  • Follow up with media outlets after the release to build stronger connections.
  • Measure any uptick in organic site traffic or searches for your brand name after issuing a release.


Commercial newswires can be a powerful asset, but they require an authentic approach based on great storytelling and newsworthiness. That will earn high-quality backlinks that, in turn, enhance SEO. 


With a sound strategy in place, news releases distributed via paid wires can certainly drive SEO value. But it’s just one piece of the puzzle, not a silver bullet. Focus on providing value to media outlets and audiences, and the SEO benefits will naturally follow.


Want to get the most impact from SEO for your website? Contact us today to find out how we can supercharge your content.


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Photo by Teona Swift

Topics: SEO, earned media, news media

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