The world of internet based marketing has just received yet another shock, courtesy of Google. According to the latest update in Google’s link scheme, all links created from press releases should be nofollwed because these links would henceforth be considered as unnatural.

As in most cases, these updates are never easy to understand. However, it certainly gives an initial impression that it is time to rethink about the off page optimization strategy of using online press releases. In this latest update, Google compares press release links as similar to paid links used to advertise a product and service.


Most of the readers of this post are aware of the fact that there is a link attribute named nofollow (<a href=’’ rel=’nofollow’>). This attribute stops the search engine spiders from following that particular link to other pages or sites by informing them accordingly. The visitors would still be able to follow these links. However, they are ignored by the search engines.

I had the opportunity to be a part of the live hangout session with John Mueller, the lead Webmaster Trends Analyst from Google. Mr. Mueller was cooperative enough to answer some of my confusions and concerns relating to this new update, click below to watch.


My question was regarding a client of mine who has a unique product, and his main keyword is the product itself. Answering my question about what should be my approach while doing a press release for this client, John Mueller suggested to look at this press release as nothing more than an advertisement for the product and nofollow it. He also suggested that it is absolutely fine for visitors to link the website if they like the product.

Throughout the entire duration of this discussion, John Mueller repeatedly compared press releases with online advertisements for a product or service. Participants asked whether it was enough just to nofollow the anchor text optimized links. John said, it is okay for the press releases to have direct URL links that are followed. However, he did add that it is recommended to nofollow even all press release links to be on the safer side.

John Mueller did mention during the discussion that press releases would still continue to be extremely valuable for any business. The primary objective of any press release is to get the word out about a new product or service. Links need not be nofollowed when the press writes about a product or service. Mueller mentioned that the links from editorial stories are valued the most by Google.

These are still early days to predict how the business world will cope up with this vital update from Google. However, it can certainly be said that online press releases are here to stay, may be in a different form.