In the old days most PRs lived by the saying “good advertising is what you pay for, while good PR is what you pray for”. Rightly or wrongly, we believed target audiences paid more attention to the ‘free’ company mentions that PR generates within editorial sections of the media than the paid adverts in the same titles.
In January Google made a change to the way it orders and ranks search results, providing some interesting insights for PRs and Publishers. Briefly, early analysis of this update (labelled Google’s core update) indicates that articles in online publications are being given a boost in search results if they are ‘timeless pieces’ that cover topics in depth. Shorter ‘newsie’ pieces are more likely to drop down in searches once they are no longer topical.
It's likely that PR is playing a bigger role in helping websites rank higher in Google searches according to a recent study. And it’s all about the way PR agencies can help encourage online news publications to link to content on their clients’ sites.
It feels as though there are increasing numbers of media titles targeting marketers right now. And I’m wondering if the extra buzz in the sector is connected to marketers spending more on technology than ever before –meaning publishers can make money selling advertising to marketing tech suppliers.
The online tech and marketing media is awash with stories about the roll-out of Google’s mobile update which begins today. The change will mean those websites that Google deems mobile- friendly (easier to use on a mobile phone), will rank higher in mobile search results. But should PRs and marketers who operate on behalf of tech and other business-to-business companies really care?
While I agree with last week's NMA story which argued that PR agencies are challenging SEO agencies for work, I think the far bigger trend is in the other direction - mainly because search agencies need to incorporate PR techniques to survive in the long term.
Google’s authorship markup programme means anyone who creates web content can potentially have a thumbnail headshot of themselves appear next to their content in Google searches. Links to the author’s profile page on Google Plus and to other content he/she has produced are also displayed.
As a PR it's in your interest to help your clients be visible online - and Google obviously plays a big role in that. To that end, here's a great video in which Matt Cutts tells us how Google really works. Sit back and enjoy...
These days it helps to be a bit 'geeky' if you work in PR, marketing or advertising, which means you need to find your way around technology. You might even find yourself dabbling in a little coding (geek-speak for programming) as highlighted in the audio boo report (see further down) from BBC Radio 4's Today programme.