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Oct 31, 2008

PR Interview: 13 No-Cost Press Release Distribution Sites Reviewed: Get High SEO Rankings on a Budget

SUMMARY: You know about the major press release distribution sites, including Business Wire, Marketwire, and PR Newswire. But they can be costly if you have a small budget – up to $400 including membership and distribution fees for one release.

There are cheaper options out there – including some no-cost sites. PR director Daniel Durazo found these sites while working with a client whose budget didn’t fit the major sites. Reviews of the 13 sites he found include:
o Features of the site
o Upgrade options
o Tips for uploading press releases
Contact Information

Daniel Durazo
Director of Public Relations and Multicultural Marketing
1500 East Main St.
Richmond, VA 23219

13 No-Cost Press Release Distribution Websites: What They Offer and How to Use Them

First, some general advice for posting press releases to these sites:

Tip #1. Craft quality content
If you’re not a PR pro or you haven’t distributed a press release over a wire service, then you probably should not go this alone. You don’t want to distribute something that simply looks unprofessional, says Durazo. A quality headline, subhead, and body test require skill and knowledge of the press release format.

Tip #2. Pay careful attention to whether these sites mask your email address.
Durazo generated unwanted spam at first because he didn’t insert a generic “info@” email address to the sites that published his personal email address on the press release web page.

Tip #3. Understand purpose of no-cost sites
The purpose of using the free distribution sites is to enhance search results for your company or client’s company. “I would not use this to try and get media coverage,” says Durazo. “This is great for search results.” Durazo was surprised to find releases he posted to free sites show up at the top of search results on the major search engines.

Keep in mind that registering for each site is time-consuming. Every one has different rules and protocol. The task took Durazo most of one day to complete.

Be careful when choosing upgrades. Some sites suggest costly upgrades that other ones offer for free. Review options carefully to find the most cost-effective selection. Always add keyword tags and hyperlinks when offered. They increase the optimization of the release.

Here are the 13 sites Durazo found and used for his client:

1. 1888PressRelease

Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release submission, optimization for search engines, personalized company profile page, distributed to growing list of distribution partners.

The press release Durazo submitted to the site landed on page two of Google search results for his client. Submission was easy, he says; the site stored the contact information he submitted previously. The press release was approved within 48-72 hours.

Upgrade options:
o $10 guarantees immediate approval, placement above other press releases, permanent placement in the site’s database (other press releases may be deleted after one year), no ads present within the press release, etc.
o $25 guarantees all of the above plus enhanced distribution, distribution to Google News, a product gallery, and five uploaded images.
o $50 guarantees all of the above plus advanced placement, distribution via social media, and a video gallery.

2. 24-7 Press Release

Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release submission, keyword tags for SEO purposes, email addresses masked to prevent spam

The only issue Durazo had with the site was that it didn’t retrieve his contact info from previous posts. He had to reenter some of the contact fields. Also, the site did not guarantee that free press releases would be posted; they were limited to one per day. He liked that his email address was masked.

Upgrade options:
o $20 guarantees positioning above the free releases.
o $49 guarantees increased SEO, distribution to major newswires, attachment of files, logos, images, and access to Web stats for tracking performance.
o $89 guarantees maximized SEO, selection of 10 industry categories, next-day distribution, higher visibility and video inclusion.
o $349 guarantees all of the above plus distribution to PR Newswire and 4,000 other websites and trade publications.


Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release submission, posted immediately, optimized for search engines, press releases are easy to delete, keyword tags for SEO purposes, email addresses masked to prevent spam, indexing by Google within 24 hours.

Durazo was impressed with the usability of this site. He had to cut his press release to fit the required 3,000-character maximum. But a Google search for his client’s name landed the press release near the top of search results, which made him very happy.

Upgrade options:
o $1 guarantees a 10,000-character maximum, indexing by Google within four hours, ability to edit the press release, attach an image, attach a PDF version, and send press release to subscribers, etc.
o $5 or more guarantees all of the above plus indexing by Google within an hour.

4. Free Press Release Center

Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release submission, keyword tags for SEO purposes, email addresses masked to prevent spam.

This was a fast and friendly, straightforward site, says Durazo. The coolest thing about it was the option to choose hyperlinks for keywords within the body of the press release. That is good for the SEO of the sites the release linked to.

Upgrade option:
o $2.99 guarantees three keyword hyperlinks, a top spot on the site for seven days, PDF download, inclusion on the front page of Yabadabadoo and Alert the Media, permanent placement on the site’s database.

5. My Free PR

Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release submission, posted within 24 hours, indexed by Google within two to three days.

This site had some technical issues. The registration page was not easily detectable. Durazo had trouble finding the submit button after he uploaded a press release. The submit button was a disk-shaped clip-art image on the right side of the page.

Though the site provided the option to bold and italicize text, Durazo says, he tried it and nothing happened. The site also appeared to allow users to upload images, but to no avail, says Durazo. The site did not mask email addresses, so it’s best to enter an “info@” address, instead of a personal email address to prevent spam.

Durazo liked the row of 24 social bookmarking links at the bottom of each press release. He liked the ability to download a PDF and/or print and/or email the press release.

He found no upgrade options.

6. Newswire Today

Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release submission, posted in the order received.

Though the site was quick and easy to use, it would not allow Durazo to include a link to his client’s website. That’s because links on the free releases were granted at random. Some releases got them, some didn’t.

Upgrade options:
o $120-$399 guarantees same-day posting, distribution to major search engines, company logo/branding on the press release page, a permanent link to the company’s website, RSS subscription option, and top listing on the site.
o $475 guarantees all of that for 20 reports/articles for a period of one month.


Registration/Login: Not required
Features: Free press release submission, keyword tags for SEO purposes, email addresses masked to prevent spam (unless entered into the body of the release), hyperlink to the company website in the body of the release.

Durazo liked the user interface of the site because it suggested ways to make the headline “descriptive and compelling.” He also liked the spell-check feature in each field and the live preview box that allowed him to check the HTML formatting as he typed the body of the release. The site allowed one link per release.

He found no upgrade options.

8. PRCompass

Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release submission, keyword tags for SEO purposes, embedded YouTube/Google Video options, distribution to search engines, newswires and websites.

The site invited Durazo to upload three images, an option that’s unusual for this type of site; most charge for that choice. Durazo was not allowed to delete the images he uploaded, so beware.

Though the site said it masks email addresses to prevent spam, it did not, Durazo says. He was able to follow a link in a confirmation email that allowed him to edit the email address, so that he wouldn’t receive spam. His press release was approved and posted the next day.

Upgrade options:
o $1 per vote guarantees higher placement on the site, depending on the number of votes purchased (Note: There is a 100 maximum on number of votes that can be purchased).
o $1 per publication guarantees targeting the press release to specific publications.


Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release submission, distribution to Google News, Yahoo! News, AskJeeves, Excite News,, and MSN News.

Durazo liked that, after logging on, he could click on the page that showed him the status of previous releases, and then submit new releases from there. The site remembered his contact info, so he didn’t have to reenter it.

Be aware that the site does not mask email addresses.

Upgrade options:
o $29.95 per hyperlink added in the body of the release
o $30 for next-day distribution
o $30 per uploaded file/PDF
o $60 per uploaded image
o $30, $50, $60 or $100 for “visibility enhancements”


Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release submission, email addresses masked to prevent spam.

This site had the fastest submission process, says Durazo. It took all of 15 minutes from uploading the press release to posting. The press release was a top result for his client’s company name in Google, Yahoo!,, and MSN.

He found no upgrade options.

11. PR Leap

Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release submission, email addresses masked to prevent spam.

Durazo was annoyed with the site at first. It generated a password instead of letting him create his own, and it didn’t post one of his press releases because he failed to change the date of the press release to two days after submission. That’s the only way to get free submission. On the plus side, there was a contact box at the bottom of each press release that displayed a contact name, link to the website, phone number, and masked email address.

Upgrade options:
o $49 guarantees a 600-word limit, RSS/XML option, homepage display, bookmarking links, text links, and placement in the Moreover feed, Google News Feed, and news feed.
o $99 guarantees all of the above plus a 1,000-word limit, distribution to the United Press International and the Associated Press, next-day posting, one media attachment (an embedded video, image, PDF, or MP3), five tags, and social media distribution.
o $149 guarantees all of the above plus a 2,000-word limit, five media attachments and 10 tags.

12. PressMethod

Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release submission, next day distribution, automatic SEO, quick stats including how many times the release is viewed, email address masked to prevent spam (unless entered into the body of the release).

This site had the fastest entry form, says Durazo. He also liked that it allowed him to edit or delete the releases he posted, and that it showed the number of times each release was viewed.

Upgrade options:
o $5 guarantees same-day distribution, keyword search on the site, distribution to the site’s press release, distribution network comprising more than a hundred websites.
o $15 guarantees all of the above plus distribution to approved subscribers to the site.
o $29 guarantees all of the above plus advanced SEO and distribution to Google News.
o $39 guarantees all of the above plus distribution to Yahoo!, Google, MSN, Alexa, alltheweb, Hoovers, AskJeeves, altavista, and BigFinder.
o $49, $59, $74, and >$74 guarantees variations of greater distribution and visibility.

13. PressReleasePoint

Registration/Login: Required
Features: Free press release distribution, posted immediately, image upload, four hyperlinks to the company and other external websites in the body of the release, keyword tags for SEO purposes.

Durazo liked that his client’s logo was displayed at the bottom of the press release. The release was found on the second page of Yahoo! search results for his client’s company name. It appeared fifth and sixth in Google search results. Don’t forget to put “PressReleasePoint” in the slug or you will get a warning message.

Email addresses were not masked.

Upgrade option:
o $25 guarantees distribution to 50 suitable publications; 50 cents extra per additional publication
See Also:

Comments about this Interview

Oct 31, 2008 - Shirley Savage of Freelance PR rep says:
Thanks so much for this very informative interview! I have clients that are always looking to do more for less and Daniel's tips are excellent. I look forward to receiving my copy of Sherpa Fame each Friday. It's fantastic to get such marvelous tips for PR and marketing. Thanks, Sherpa!!

Oct 31, 2008 - Melanie Broemsen of Rosetta says:
Truthfully, I am a bit disappointed in this article. I have been working in the online PR space for about 10 years, and at Rosetta, this is of my primary area of focus. The most important piece of this puzzle - how well these sites actually perform for SEO purposes - was totally overlooked. My research indicates that most of these services provide marginal, if any, SEO value.

Oct 31, 2008 - Leslie Nolen of The Radial Group says:
Melanie, can you be more specific? The author mentioned SERP results of his release for every service he reviewed.

Oct 31, 2008 - Mark Smiciklas of Intersection Consulting says:
In response to Melanie's comment - I'm not a pro, but I feel free PR distribution has some SEO merit, particularly if used with specific keywords in mind. For example, I used PR Log (not on the list) to get two press releases on the 1st page of Google (positions 7 and 8) by inserting my niche keyword phrase, "Vancouver Marketing Consultant" into the title. I would agree that free PR distribution is not the be all and end all, but it can be a good tool to add another layer to your SEO efforts.

Nov 03, 2008 - William R of Public Relations by WR White says:
Thanks for the hard you put into this. Will find contacts most useful.

Nov 04, 2008 - Tony Finnemore of A To B Solutions says:
Another interesting and informative article. Which raises the question does anyone have knowledge on similar services that cover the Asia Pacific region countries, including Australia and New Zealand.

Nov 04, 2008 - Steve McNamara of McNamara / AdCracker says:
I had the impression that PRWeb was the biggest in the Free PR area. Anyone?

Nov 05, 2008 - Catherine Marenghi of Marenghi Communications says:
I really wonder about the reach of these alternatives. I worked with a client's partner on a release, and each posted the same release, the same day -- one on PRWeb and one of PRNewswire. The traditional PR Newswire reached much better sites --, MSN, Wall St Journal's MarketWatch, etc. -- while PRWeb reached no-name aggregators. I know sites like PRWeb tout their SEO strength, but I don't see it in practice. Cheaper ($200 for PRWeb) but hard to use and not as effective.

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