Press Release optimization for search engine purposes has been a growing segment of the SEO industry. One of the first companies to catch the wave is SEO PR, by Greg Jarboe. They have a service that will take your press release, optimize it to rank well in the news search engines and drive a nice percentage click through to your landing pages. He has given plenty of informative speeches on the topic at the Search Engine Strategies conferences (check the archives). But what about building links with press releases?
A Cre8asite Forum thread named Link Building with Press Release asks the power of building links with press releases. Although some of the press releases allow for static, clean, link popularity passing links, many do not. Yahoo! News releases are hosted at Yahoo! for a period of time, until the URL goes away and is no longer valid, so links from there die down quickly.
So where is the value with press releases in terms of link building? Well, a press release, and a well optimized press release, should get in front of the eyes of news reporters, bloggers and other industry experts. They will find your press release, hopefully read it, and god willing think it is interesting. If so, they may write about your service with some quality anchor text pointing to your Web site.
I believe press releases for link building purposes helps increase your site's traffic, gets your more eyes on your brand and encourages people to link to you. This is all incredibly important for the popularity factor of your Web pages.
Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.