In case you were in doubt about this spammy technique for getting rankings check out the “News” results in this Google SERP for this highly competitive query:

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15 Response Comments

  • Steve  July 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Good catch.

    May be more ‘press release’ syndication (spamming) than article syndication, although that might be just semantics…

    I’m seeing the same press release – or one very much like it from (no doubt) the same guy – indexed on a different website here in Canada. Likely, as you said, due to syndicating across multiple press release sites indexed by Google News..

    Fortunately he can disappear quickly from the regular SERPs page if other news / press releases get posted there which rank for the same keywords, so he’d have to keep getting his press release posted continually and probably in rewritten form too…

    Similar rankings can often be likewise achieved, at least for the short term as this one, by using targeted keywords in images and (Youtube) videos.

  • Stever  July 15, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve used press releases for clients and it injects the news results listing at mid page like that, but it’s short lived, lasting only a few days.

  • Jon  July 16, 2010 at 1:08 am

    For most keywords we track the articles/news results aren’t very relevant but based on a few of the eye track studies we have done they seem to be largely ignored. So not much harm done.

  • PLAVEB  July 16, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Once the Google caffeine update will be implemented in all data centers, we won’t able to see news results in between the top 10 results as placement of this result will be getting changed. Also these kind of results will be replaced by Social Media real time results.

  • Andrew Shotland  July 16, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Hey PLAVE, I think the Caffeine has been implemented on all data centers and re the placement of news results, I think you may be smoking some exotic crack on that one.

  • Kevin Tan  July 16, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I’ve actually never used press releases in my marketing strategies. Seeing this definitely makes me want to dive into this. Appreciate the helpful tip!

  • Tom Crandall  July 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm


    Are you suggesting that Google is stripping out universal results? Where did you get this information?

  • David  July 17, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    What’s you’re take on the power of customer reviews on local SEO? Obviously it’s beneficial to have reviews to entice prospects, but do they have an effect on SEO, boosting your google places profile, for example.


  • Teena  July 18, 2010 at 3:48 am

    I’ve never tried press release but I think I’m gonna try this one now. thanks for the tip.

  • Steve  July 18, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I actually have a website indexed in Google News, so have stayed aware of where those same postings show up in the regular SERPs too.

    Without consciously investigating it to know for certain, my impression is that News results on the first page of the regular Google SERP have moved down. I use to see them mostly at the top or mid-page, but now I see them mid-page or at the bottom.

    Could just be chance that I think it’s changed.

    But as far as removing News results from the front page and substituting that space with social network results (like Twitter), I think that would be a mistake.

    If something serious is happening in the world, I’d rather get the breaking news and facts from the BBC or CNN or a news site from where it’s happening, than to see a bunch of Twitterers writing “OMG OMG!” and “OH NOES. What will we do???” and otherwise spreading rumors and gossip etc.

    As a heavy user of Twitter search, I find it very useful to find information about breaking news from where it’s happening, but I can manually filter out that abundant noise, whereas the Google algorithm would have a much tougher time of it.

  • mark stroud  July 29, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Local seo has to be the main way forward now for people with low budgets who want decent results

  • Nick  August 4, 2010 at 2:27 am

    More pages in the SERPS that have information relative to your business can only be a good thing, with the added benefit that a Press Release is likely to contain links to your site – good natural optimization!

    Also you never know who the Press Release or article will be picked up by eg news channels and national publication sites.

  • Web Guru  April 7, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Hello. I think that article sindication doesn’t work after Panda 🙁 Andrew, what do you think about it?

  • Andrew Shotland  April 7, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Still works, just not as reliable as it used to be.