SEO has merged much more with PR and has evolved dramatically over the last few years! Google changed SEO by releasing Penguin updates to crackdown on those that were trying to do link building with the intention of manipulating search engines. We quickly took notice that SEO was changing, acknowledged Google’s new guidelines and rules, and spent the last couple of years building up an awesome media list of community and small newspapers that are looking for valuable content and real news. In this Daily Brown Bag, you’ll learn about SEO, PR and our publishing partnerships -- how we’re getting small businesses real news coverage. You’ll also learn how our Publishing Partner Program is very beneficial for our SEO reseller community and about the importance of getting the right kind of organic growth for your website, while following the Google Webmaster Guidelines.


Hello, and welcome to our Daily Brown Bag. Today we’re going to be talking about our Publishing Partner Program. I’m Chad Hill, and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

SEO, PR & Link Building

Hey, good morning, Chad. Welcome to the Brown Bag. SEO has changed a great deal over the last few years. I was just reviewing some posts on Search Engine Watch. I know you read the same stuff, Chad. Everyday, people in our reseller Q&A session are asking, “Is link building dead? What has link building become?”

Of course, the opinions are that links still very much matter to your website, but the way you go about it just can’t be how it was a couple of years ago -- particularly with the Penguin updates in 2012, 2013, and 2014. You can’t do link building with the intention of manipulating the search engines as you used to. So that means SEO, which still relies heavily on links as a vote to your website, has evolved dramatically and merged much more with PR. And that’s what we’re going to be talking about today, Chad, with our publishing partnerships.

As Google started to put out new guidance and new rules, we started to really pay attention to those. We spent the last couple of years building up a pretty awesome media list of community and small newspapers, who, ironically, are starved for content. This is a great fit with our white label SEO program. I’m really proud of what we’re doing here.

Real News Coverage & Small Businesses

We’re becoming part of the news cycle; we’re figuring out to take small businesses -- those Main Street businesses -- and get them into real news coverage, which also has a tremendous benefit for our SEO reseller community. So, Chad, let’s walk through exactly how this works.

White Label SEO & PR

Yeah, Adam. It is great, and it’s actually one of the really interesting things that we’ve done. It’s a really good fit when you’re white labeling SEO because the traditional PR approach is that there’s a direct connection to someone at the client site. If you’re looking for an SEO reseller program, like the one we offer, and you’re trying to sort of outsource your SEO, but still raise your standards to where you want to be in 2015 and beyond (in terms of how you’re going about promoting your client’s website), we think this is a really good fit. So let’s talk about what we do.

What We Do: How We’re Part of the News Cycle

  1. The first thing we do is that all of our news programs that we’ve developed all start with onsite blogging and content. What we’re trying to do, when we’re writing onsite content, is we’re working really hard to incorporate facts and statistics into those onsite blog posts. The reason we do that is because we’ve found that anytime a website is mentioned or cited in other posts, it’s often because there are relevant, interesting facts that support a story. So the first part is that we put those facts and figures on your client’s websites.

  2. Then, Adam, as you said, we’re pitching our media list as we’re talking to these different publications and our reporters and correspondents are actually trying to figure out how to meet the needs of their local news stories.

  3. We’re able to go back and reference that fact database and find supporting information that actually helps and aids that particular story. So our reporters and our correspondents are using the fact database -- of facts that we’ve worked into your client’s onsite blogs -- and then we are able to use those to support stories that we’re writing for clients. It’s a really nice way, a very relevant way of incorporating your client’s information into breaking news stories that we’re publishing in local community newspapers.

Again, we think this is something that’s very different, that no one else is doing. It’s terrifically difficult to actually do, to keep everything in order, and to work out and build those media relationships. But it’s something that, again, the state of SEO demands.

Similarities: Traditional PR & Our Publishing Partner Program

If you really think about this, Chad, it is very similar to traditional PR activities. We’ve been through that. We’ve been around the block and hired PR firms ourselves for previous businesses. Often, you’ll pay them a retainer, and they’ll do their best to get you placed into stories and that has a positive impact. This is exactly what Google is telling us in 2015 you should be doing. You should be in new stories that are relevant to your industry, where there’s a real readership and work on the brand and the placement. That’s exactly what we’ve done, and why we’ve spent the better part of the last few years building this media list.

Getting the Right Kind of Organic Growth & Following the Google Webmaster Guidelines

The twist we’ve put on it, as Chad outlined (and I understand this is complicated for some folks), but -- if you think it through -- we’re really helping that onsite SEO be prepared with good statistics and facts onsite that can then make you be able to be placed into some of those stories, which is exactly what those editors are looking for. And this piece is -- we keep having to emphasize it -- these folks we’re working with on our media list, they have editors, they have editorial control, they can remove links, they can reject stories, which is exactly what Google requires when you’re out trying to do brand-oriented PR, which may or may not result in a link. Oftentimes, it does. That’s great. But it’s the right kind of organic growth that you want to see for your website that’s completely within the guidelines of where Google wants you to be.

The Evolution of Our Publishing Partner Program

We’re pretty excited about where this program has gone and how it’s evolved, and we’re trying our best, as always, to study and broadcast the Google Webmaster Guidelines, make sure everybody’s doing the right stuff, making a website that’s great for readers and getting it placed in real newspapers.

That’s our Brown Bag for today. We sure would appreciate any comments or questions you have. As always, hit “Subscribe,” and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.