PRWeb Lead To Fake Press Release. How Should Google React?

Nov 30, 2012 • 8:18 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

PRWeb LogoEarlier this week, I spotted a press release pushed out by PRWeb about Google acquiring WiFi provider ICOA for $400 million.

I sent it to the Search Engine Land's editors to review but then after a second glance it seemed weird. In fact, I was in a hangout with Google's John Mueller and I asked him, doesn't this press release look fake? He said, maybe but typically they are legit. I read lots of press releases and many from Google and it didn't seem real for several reasons. So I told the editors to hold off and I emailed Google to find out if it is real. They told us they did not acquire ICOA.

As Greg Sterling said, most news outlets ran to cover it without verifying. And Danny Sullivan explained how easy it is to spam PRWeb with real and fake news releases.

This leads me to the question, will Google do something that encourages press release companies to take verification of releases more seriously? Would Google distribute a new algorithm update to somehow verify and take action against these companies? Will it be baked into the Google News engine and search algorithm? Should they?

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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11/30/2012 10:45 pm

of course, now bots cannot verify facts. It like in the articles on your website. If you have article about dogs training, but not have few lsi (at least what google think is lsi for this keyword) - bot will consider your content not worthy.

Frank Strong

12/01/2012 04:22 pm

Whether they do or not, PRWeb is going to make changes along these lines. Our CEO's apology and promise is up on BloggingPRWeb now, Barry.

Lenin VJ Nair

12/02/2012 09:38 am

Its pathetic indeed. pay a sum starting from 199 and you can get a pr published with links n stuff. and they even appear on top news sites driving crazy traffic


12/04/2012 12:45 am

Press releases should receive Author rank prior to WEB as mentionned by Matt cuts years ago : a known journalist will pass more authority to article than average one.

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