Google's Panda Algorithm Forces PR Newswire To Remove Press Release Spam

Jun 27, 2014 • 8:43 am | comments (40) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

google pr newswireAs you may remember, Google Panda 4.0 had a major negative impact on many press release sites including the largest one, PR Newswire. In response, PR Newswire issued a press release about them cracking down on "spammers" by removing and "taking action" on low quality press releases both before they hit the feeds and going back and removing a lot of the spammy older press releases.

PR Newswire, according to SearchMetrics, saw a huge dive in "SEO Visibility" after Panda 4.0.

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What are their new guidelines that will fix this? They include:

  • Inclusion of insightful analysis and original content (e.g. research, reporting or other interesting and useful information);
  • Use of varied release formats, guarding against repeated use of templated copy (except boilerplate);
  • Assessing release length, guarding against issue of very short, unsubstantial messages that are mere vehicles for links;
  • Overuse of keywords and/or links within the message.

Of course, you got to love this quote:

"Google's recent algorithm update is essentially a technology-based editorial guideline for content quality, and PR Newswire is aligning our processes with those standards to ensure that press releases distributed are high-quality, authenticated content," noted Jason Edelboim, senior vice president of global product for PR Newswire. "Google's recent action targeting low-quality content in the Panda 4.0 update affirms the importance of ensuring press releases and other content distributed via PR Newswire's network are of real utility and interest to journalists and bloggers, as well as the general public."

If only they took these steps before Google slapped them. If only.

I assume this is having a major impact on their business both the traffic drop and now preventing a whole segment of spammers customers from paying them for press releases.

Forum discussion at Google+.

Previous story: Google "Right To Be Forgotten" Removal Examples Now Live


Mark Warner

06/27/2014 01:33 pm

If reporters were actually using the service to find news to cover, and this is what was driving the success of the business, search rankings wouldn't even matter because that's not something involved with that business model. It could be done in a private backend and it wouldn't make much of a difference. We all know that's not the case, hence this is why there will be no going back for them. They should have provided a great service when they had the chance the first time.


06/27/2014 02:45 pm

What kind of SEO says such unconstructive things about other people's businesses publicly? What should I think about the quality of your service?

Michael Martinez

06/27/2014 03:07 pm

And if only Panda had anything to do with spam, this might have an impact. Meanwhile, their Website's presentation remains cluttered and clunky. I doubt they'll notice any improvement.


06/27/2014 03:43 pm

He is speaking the truth.


06/27/2014 04:06 pm

What are you talking about? Spam is low quality content.


06/27/2014 04:13 pm

A site that distributes spam is getting rid of spam? No way! Don't let Google win!

F1 Steve

06/27/2014 04:43 pm

Agree with mike!!


06/27/2014 04:46 pm

I agree, it's over for them. It simply isn't a product that's useful for the Google user.


06/27/2014 05:01 pm

Well there sure are a lot of weak SEOs here. I sure wouldn't want to hire you lot.


06/27/2014 05:03 pm

Do you realize that you just described Google too? :)

Michael Martinez

06/27/2014 05:11 pm

Well, if Panda were actually going after spam and poorly-composed copy Wikipedia would have gone down long ago.


06/27/2014 05:16 pm

??? Wikipedia is spam and poorly-composed content???? I don't think they should be #1 as often as they are but the site uses source citations, has editor review, and guidelines (maybe not as effective as we'd like them to be) but their content is MORE composed than any blog I've ever seen including yours.

Michael Martinez

06/27/2014 05:46 pm

I'll take that under advisement the next time I stumble through a Wikipedia article with broken English and irrelevant citations. That should happen in about 20 minutes after I finish this comment, given how often I see Wikipedia in the search results.


06/27/2014 08:04 pm

"Don't let Google win!" Applies to both then?

Yo Mamma

06/27/2014 09:29 pm

I paid big money for FOLLOW backlinks in news releases and now they're all nofollow. I think thats a rip off. But, they realized too late that the follow link thing was bad, yet you have 2 major contributors and very familiar with seo, durant and MM, finding no issue at all for backlinking follow links. What that tells me is this: Google is either easy to bribe, or its algorithms are worthless and inaccurate or there is no such thing as an algorithm penalty just a people penalty, by Google fanatics that complain a lot and get you penalized.

Yo Mamma

06/27/2014 09:31 pm

Don't cry if I bad mouth your sites MM. Eye for an eye :-) loool

Yo Mamma

06/27/2014 09:33 pm

LoL - MM liked his own post - WTF MM, I guess thats why men all have 2 hands

Yo Mamma

06/27/2014 09:45 pm

ethalon, Google has been your truth and I am please to announce your slow turning from that perverted reality Halleluiah Shabbat shalom hey!


06/27/2014 10:08 pm

Haven't seen one of those yet... Maybe you should stop searching for Thai Hookers.


06/27/2014 10:16 pm

Come now... EuropeForTravellers .com VeniceForAmericans .com EuropeForAmericans .com ItalyForCanadians .com VeniceForCats .com These are not SEO style links... These just make good publishing sense. Because linking to pages about these topics from within one website would be too hard for readers to do. Instead they have keyword rich domains to remember instead of using proper navigation solves this problem. Clearly you know nothing of how publishing works and you are a guideline breaking web spammer.

Durant Imboden

06/27/2014 10:23 pm

If you spent less time obsessing about other commenters and more time figuring out what you've been doing wrong, you might have less reason to be bitter about Google.


06/27/2014 10:37 pm

Follow your own advice much Mr Judgey McJudgerson?

Yo Mamma

06/27/2014 11:01 pm

Lool - I got it Sarcasm! Tis what durant calls 'vanity' domains is a vanity domain or is actually vain domain (rhymes)

Yo Mamma

06/27/2014 11:04 pm

I find more truth in sites that have NOT been hit than those that have. Your domains for instance are a very good case of a shoulda coulda that I love to see Sometimes I call theses schemes 'The carrot that leads the donkey' And if we don't have time durant, what else is there? Have a great Shabbat durant and no work, so saith God

Michael Martinez

06/27/2014 11:47 pm

So you're responsible for the press release mess. Well, confession is the first step toward full recovery.

Michael Martinez

06/27/2014 11:48 pm

As long as you're honest about NOT liking your own posts, it's all good.

Michael Martinez

06/27/2014 11:48 pm

Hm. So I wonder if the real qwerty appreciates how you appropriated the screen name.

Jaimie Sirovich

06/28/2014 06:01 am

I really think you're being too hard on Wikipedia. It depends on how many people are editing the particular topic. Many topics are very well curated. Others, well, not. Google seems to have made the decision that Wikipedia is a 'good' site, so even the poorly curated content ranks sometimes — or often. Logical. There's really no way around that. The algorithm needs to generalize because the data are sparse and even if the data weren't the computation would be too expensive on a per page basis. Some factors are global.

F1 Steve

06/28/2014 12:14 pm

I want to see Durante bifold ow these links, why wouldn't u unless you were gaming google? Ur visitors still get the same 'good publishing' benefits! Come on Durante take your place back as Holier than thou on these forms! Good digging my yo mammy ;) I never knew Durante was a black hat just thought he was a brown noser!! And when you no follow your private link network Durante I'll never bash you again, scouts honour !!

F1 Steve

06/28/2014 12:55 pm

That should be no follow, gotta love predictive txt! Come on Durante, reclaim the moral high ground!?

The tentacle

06/28/2014 08:19 pm

Durante was the last character I expected would run a private link network. Okay I'm calling it, From hence forth until you stop casting judgment on others you shall be known officially and forever known as Spamboden, so sayath the tentacle.

Not a link network

06/29/2014 10:18 am

Lol spamboden! Reminds me of Nixon 'I am not a spammer' err yea u r

Yo Mamma

06/29/2014 02:50 pm

I never claimed to be a white hat. I just like to prove a point. That means being BH to show it works and WH to show rules are inconsistent. That is that Google never enforced it own rules and now it does so very selectively. Thats called hypocrisy and Google is taking a tumble in public trust - Once its gone, ain't never coming back - People will not buy or associate with Google, ever

Durant 2.0

06/29/2014 06:34 pm

As Nixon would say, "It's not spam if the president does it"

Michael Martinez

06/29/2014 09:25 pm

Okay, back up here. You haven't actually proven any points. You clearly are leaping to wild conclusions with no basis in fact.


06/30/2014 10:51 am

Ahhhhahahah, More butt-hurt. Awww did Google hurt your little black-hat game and now poor little baby doesn't know how to do anything anymore? This explains your butt-hurt more than anything. You tried to cheat, got caught and now instead of trying to work fairly, you are just bitching and moaning about it, like a child.


06/30/2014 12:14 pm

Hi Everyone, Suddenly my website search results are down and traffic drop in SERP's in Google Search Engine. i thought it's Google Panda 4.0 Algorithm effect. Not even top keywords are not coming in Google SERP's. So kindly tell me how to improve keywords in SERP's and what is the solution for this Google Panda 4.0 Algorithm. So kindly tell me how to overcome the Google Panda Algorithm.

Yo Mamma

06/30/2014 02:23 pm



07/03/2014 10:00 am

This algo change is a broken one! I have access to many automotive related sites and a lot of them got hit in the process, even the ones that do not list (but comment) the press releases!

NetServices Inc.

07/04/2014 08:35 am

You should get your website backlinks audit and disavow bad links via Google Webamster tool. Complete website audit is really important if you got attached with these updates. Once you get things in right way, you will start seeing results again. Also, just disavow bad links is not sufficient you need to contact webmaster to remove links from their websites if possible, and then you can move ahead with disavowing bad links with Google. Hope for your websites recovery soon :)

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