PR Newswire Responds To Panda 4.0 By Taking Action Against Spammers

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PR Newswire Responds To Panda 4.0 By Taking Action Against Spammers

When Panda 4.0 was rolled out last month, press release sites were hit particularly hard. PR Newswire lost around 63% of their SEO visibility as a result of Panda 4.0, according to data from SearchMetrics.

Recently, PR Newswire announced their plans to recover from the Panda 4.0 penalty by taking action against spammers. Their plans include new press release guidelines and deleting low quality content.

Ninan Chacko, PR Newswire’s CEO, stated in a release:

PR Newswire is committed to continuously improving the quality of the content distributed via our network, website, and other digital channels… By reviewing each piece of content to ensure message quality, and deleting releases we find to be of low quality, we will increase the value of our content and website for our audiences, and limit the exploitation of content distribution for questionable SEO tactics.

Effective immediately, PR Newswire is implementing new copy quality guidelines. Their editorial staff will review press releases to ensure they meet the following criteria:

  • Insightful analysis and original content;
  • Varied release formats, to prevent repeated use of templated copy (except boilerplate);
  • Acceptable length of content, to prevent very short messages that are only being put out to get links;
  • No overuse of keywords and/or links within the message.

In addition, PR Newswire also intends to assess press release data on an ongoing basis to identify and delete low quality content to be more in compliance with Panda 4.0.

Google’s recent action targeting low-quality content in the Panda 4.0 update affirms the importance of ensuring press releases and other content distributed via PR Newswire’s network are of real utility and interest to journalists and bloggers, as well as the general public

For more information, see the full release. A hat tip goes out to Search Engine Land for discovering and drawing attention to this release.

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
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  • Matt McGee

    Hey Matt,

    I don’t mean to come across as a jerk, but the PR Newswire release wasn’t published “today,” it was published about a week ago. We just discovered it today and wrote about it on Search Engine Land. I’m assuming our story is where you learned about their release, so it would’ve been polite to credit SEL for being the tip/source.


    • Matt Southern

      Hi Matt, thank you for your comment. I have edited the post to give credit where credit is due.

  • APO (African Press Organization)

    The main issue facing PR Newswire is ‘duplicate content’, not ‘quality’.

    Here is a quick demonstration:

    PR Newswire has distributed a press release headed “PR Newswire Takes Action Against Spammers with New Press Release Guidelines & Deletion of Low Quality Content”.

    If you search that specific headline on Google, you may think that press release is only available on a couple of websites:

    Thats give you a clear picture of the drop in Google visibility for PR Newswire.

    That PR Newswire will be policing the content quality is good news (Even if that suggest they didn’t care before). But quality is actualy the least of their problems.

    A press release distribution service cannot be -only- an automated network of sites that copy and syndicate news releases online. See: