The discussion about HubSpot’s post on the syndication of social media press releases vs. traditional press releases called my attention again to PitchEngine, a platform for creating and sharing social media releases (SMRs).
PitchEngine is a good tool that provides a useful service and it’s reasonably priced (in fact it’s free if you only keep your SMRs on their site for 30 days). But what caught my eye were the options for archiving releases and creating a custom newsroom.
With archiving you can use RSS to feed links to your PitchEngine SMRs into your own newsroom, as GerberGear does:
Or you can host a custom newsroom entirely on PitchEngine.com, as Brunton does:
Both options create opportunities for additional exposure on PitchEngine and they are useful for sites that lack the resources to maintain their own pressrooms. However there is also a downside. Whether it is individual releases or your entire newsroom, hosting on PitchEngine means that the content is not on your site so your domain loses the SEO benefit of the links pointing to that content. Essentially you are helping to build up PitchEngine.com’s link equity as opposed to your own.
Some may consider this issue a worthwhile trade-off if they feel they will gain greater overall exposure through a third-party site than they would by hosting their releases on their own site. However long-term it is much better to strengthen your own domain as opposed to someone else’s.
I want to stress that this issue is not unique to PitchEngine, it applies to many third-party release hosting services. For example on The New York Times Company’s corporate site press releases are hosted by Thomson Reuters on http://phx.corporate-ir.net URLs:
Last year Todd Defren wrote that social media releases are best kept in your company newsroom for a variety of reasons. Specific to the SEO implications I believe that is still the best approach. Keeping the content on your own domain allows you to benefit from internal and inbound links to both the newsroom itself and individual releases.
Maggie McGary says
I work for an association and have used PitchEngine and have to say that I slightly disagree with you about the SEO implications. We recently did a release to announce the winners of a video contest we did to raise awareness of Better Hearing and Speech Month. The contest was hosted on YouTube, and therefore the videos lived on YouTube. The other stuff included in the release–links to us on Twitter and Facebook–those things, too, live off our site and therefore SEO implications aren’t really a factor. Given that our goal was to raise awareness of Better Hearing and Speech Month, attracting traffic to our site was, in this case, of secondary importance.
I do agree that it’s much better to strengthen your own domain than boost someone else’s; however, if resources or technical limits keep you from being able to create and host SMRs on your own domain, I think hosting your SMRs somewhere else is better than not doing them at all.
One thing I will say, though, is that PitchEngine only archives releases for 30 days for free, so, unfortunately for us–and illustrating your point–the release won’t be viewable to anyone after today. Granted, we could pay to subscribe and the release would be viewable, but certainly that’s a vote for hosting your own content–you want it to be accessible for longer than 30 days.
Adam Sherk says
Thanks for your input Maggie. I agree that hosting SMRs off-site is better than not doing them at all, and that using a third-party service brings other benefits, especially for organizations that may not have the resources to build and maintain their own newsrooms.