I’m a big believer in press releases. I think they can be very effective in getting a new business enough publicity to get off to a good start. Even for established businesses, they can give you a boost that revitalizes the business and create new enthusiasm among the staff.
However, I have seen many businesses use press releases as SEO tools rather than as publicity tools. This is a sure way to defeat yourself.
It’s not that a good press release can’t add a new link to your website and help you achieve better rankings, but if that’s the reason you want a press release, then I think you’ll be disappointed in the results.
Google Panda virtually killed article directories. Press release distribution sites are directories for press releases. As such, they suffer from some of the same weaknesses – weaknesses that killed the article directories after Google rolled out Panda. Some of those article directories bounced back, but not all of them.
I’m surprised we didn’t hear a big kerfuffle at the time about press release distribution sites. One reason could be that Panda affected them but not as badly as it did article directories.
Link building is good. So are press releases. I’d advise you to send out your press releases to a list of media professionals directly. Then, if you want to add a few press release distribution sites on top of that, go right ahead. Just make sure your press release is a good PR tool first.