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

Nov 30, 2012 • 8:18 am | comments (4) by | 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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