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How Google treat press releases differently than other content

March 4, 2021 0 comments

Does Google treat press releases differently from other online content, such as web pages and blog posts? This is an important question to answer because it may help us understand a curious phenomenon. 

Let’s see what that is.

Have you ever wondered why sometimes a news coverage by a news outlet outrank the original source of news on the search engine results pages? That actually happens quite frequently.

But shouldn’t the original source rank above a news article that basically republishes and reshare the same information?

The answer may lie in how Google understands, treats, and processes press releases.

Google’s John Mueller recently shared some information on this very topic in a recently recorded Google Search Console SEO hangout video. Addressing the aforementioned concern, John said:

“It’s hard to say. I think in most cases, we try to recognize situations where exactly the same article is being republished and then to treat that accordingly in search by showing the original or the one we think it might have come from.”

But John Mueller also mentioned that it isn’t as simple, and that’s why we see the variance so often.

“There are lots of cases where we can’t recognize that completely. And it’s sometimes a matter of – this content is here, but someone also wrote about the same topic somewhere else – and then we have those two viewpoints.”

I don’t think there’s anything technical or anything specific that is happening there where it’s like – if it gets republished here, then we just take that one. But any time you have content that is syndicated, it can happen that our systems don’t recognize that we should be showing this version instead of the other version.”

Press releases vs. Other types of content

When probed further regarding if Google treats press releases and other types of online content differently, John answered that Google does try to recognize (and distinguish) online press releases.

“I think to some extent we probably try to recognize press releases and understand that these pieces of content that are just republished in lots of places and try to act accordingly to that.

But otherwise, it’s just content. It’s kind of like if I write a blog post or a news article, it’s essentially a piece of content to us.”

You can watch the full video — and Mueller’s complete answer — in this video if you are interested.