And again, the press release is dead

Transparency: I was with PRWeb before and for a while after Vocus bought them.

Like that headline? How many times have we heard about the demise of the press release? I’ve been in this space since 2006 and, over time,¬†the multitude of headlines on blogs declaring the press release dead has become more a source of snicker-inducing link-bait than valid proclamations.

So why another one? This morning I came across some chatter about how PRWeb had lost gobs of its site traffic and only Panda 4.0 could be blamed. My thought was maybe something happened with the PRWeb site. It’s a possibility. To rule it out, I thought I’d look across the other players in the industry. A quick view courtesy of SEMRush’s dashboard revealed something quite telling. Check it out.

Panda 4.0 was announced May 20th (yellow line).
semrush data - the press release is deadWow, right?

I’m not prepared to do anything but assign responsibility on Google’s algorithm update. Why did MarketWired’s traffic not tank but instead¬†saw a bit of a boost? Did their already lower traffic volume insulate them (something similar can be said with pr.com’s traffic)?

I’ll let you smarter than me people fill in the blanks in the comments. Have at it!

 

  • Well, they all got hit. And Google has been after releases for a while. They are advertisements in Google’s view.

    One perspective that’s missing from the SEMRush comparison is volume. Look at the Y axis. It’s not even the close to the same league.

    • Thanks for commenting, Frank. You mentioned the differing volumes. Do you think the lowest tracking services based on traffic volume were insulated in some way from the dramatic drops in traffic incurred by the higher volume services?

      • No, it’s the other way around — and a correlation not causation. What I mean is these services were effective, Google deemed them paid advertisements and cracked down. So the volume attracted the watchful eye and eventual action.

        Most of these services marked links no-follow, prior to this update, so I don’t really understand what Google was hoping to achieve.

        I have noticed in the last 90 days or so, when searching for a release — like my own to use as a reference in new content — I often have to put the name of the distributor and a few key words or the title. Otherwise the result in on page 10.

        • That suggests this was a manual action, not Panda. That coincides with the fact that the drop in traffic came several days after Panda launched.