There is much talk on the fate of PR after Google changed its webmaster guidelines on Link Schemes. To get more insight on how agencies are responding and addressing the new rules, Cision interviewed Paul Stallard, managing director of Berkeley PR, a digital, technology and consumer PR agency. Edited excerpts:
Will Google’s updated webmaster guidelines ‘kill PR’?
Does this kill PR agencies? Only the lazy ones in my view. In fact I actually think it gives more power to a PR agency with top-level contacts and the ability to secure top level coverage with great content. The ones that I think who will be scared are newswire distribution agencies. One of the big selling points for putting a press release on a newswire for the past few years has been the SEO value of doing so. By posting your press release on a newswire with a few backlinks you could help your SEO campaign by generating links with content created by your PR team.
How are folks at Berkeley PR addressing the new rules? Will you be doing anything differently?
We won’t be doing anything differently. We will however advise our clients that all links in collateral distributed now need to be no follow links and that using this tactic for SEO is no longer good practice.
Are there any lessons to be learnt for PR and the media community at large?
Stay on your toes. Google never gives advance warning of a change and each change can have a major impact on a business. It is important that you monitor what is happening in the world around you and be ready to advise your clients on how to react to any changes.
What should PR be looking out for?
The list could be endless. What I think is more important is that you have a process in place to understand and educate people so that you are acting as a consultancy rather than just another supplier.
To read Cision’s take on how the new guidelines affect the world of PR, please click here.