EML Wildfire Tech PR Blog

The shocking truth about SEO: it’s not as complicated as you think

Posted by Ian McKee on Aug 08, 2014

Magnifying glassThis post originally appeared on Econsultancy.

As you probably know by now, SEO and PR are getting more closely related. But there is one aspect that both have always had in common, and that is that both have long been labelled a supposed ‘dark art’.

PR and SEO; mysterious art forms that deal in the unknown, experts fixing things unseen, like wizards behind the curtain.

It has suited both industries, to be known this way.

“Oh, yeah, we just need to curbudgle your whojamaflip. It’s absolutely essential, or you’ll get befluddled. You don’t want to get befluddled. Yes it’s an extra thirty grand.”

The importance of transparency

Fortunately, we have been forced to throw back the curtain somewhat on PR. Even the real masters of its dark arts, the government spin doctors, have had their behind-the-scenes treatment in TV shows such as the BBC’s The Thick of It.

Of course, the life of a tech PR in an agency such as the one I work for is not quite that of a government PR, and our own MD Richard Parker is a bit less sweary than Malcolm Tucker.…

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Shaping our perceptions – the Google lens

Posted by Alex Warren on Dec 02, 2013

GlassesWith over 130 thousand webpages being created every day, the internet’s potential for information overload has long been a cause for concern amongst technological critics and stuffy cardigan-wearing academics.

We have found ourselves faced with a greater quantity of information than anyone could ever hope to absorb. In fact, research suggests that it would take over seven years simply to read the current contents of Wikipedia.

Thankfully, rather than reading every page in existence just to find what we’re looking for, there exists a rather nifty little tool called Google. (You may have heard of it)

Rather than scrolling through trillions of webpages, Google kindly sorts the contents of the internet by order of relevance. While this may prove incredibly helpful, it does beg a number of difficult questions.

First off, what on earth is relevance? Surely the mere concept of what is and isn’t relevant is a subjective decision? Even more importantly, is it really wise to be handing over the global responsibility of deciding what is “relevant” to a third party organisation?…

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SEO: Hot for PR or not?

Posted by Debby Penton on Nov 21, 2013

Magnifying glassSEO is right up there with hot PR topics for the PR industry, along with measurement, social media and content marketing. But regular changes from Google hoping to stop SEOs trying to game their algorithms can cause headaches for even the most SEO-savvy PRs.

We carried out a survey of 250 marketing decision makers which confirms that almost 75% of marketers believe an understanding of SEO is important to marketing, and 68% state that SEO is now a core part of their organisations’ marketing strategy.

But only one in three believe they have the SEO knowledge in-house to deliver on this strategy, highlighting their dependence on external agencies.  So can PR help?

Well, yes, in theory. Despite recent alarmist proclamations that Google killed PR, the opposite is in fact true. PR is now more relevant to SEO than ever. On top of delivering huge value in building awareness, managing reputation, and even generating business, PR can now have the biggest impact in your search rankings.…

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Google didn’t kill PR agencies, but it may have changed press releases

Posted by Ian McKee on Aug 12, 2013

Storm in a teacupThere was a minor hubbub last week following an article from Tom Foremski on ZD Net asking the question, ‘did Google just kill PR agencies?’.

Just to address your concerns right up front: the answer is no, of course they didn’t. The general consensus of the PR industry on Twitter was that Tom was somehow trolling us all. Even though I do find it hard not to take issue with the sensationalist message, it’s worth looking at the source of what he’s referring to, even attempting to see where his viewpoint has come from and what the changes actually mean for the industry.

The statements that started this debate are taken from Google’s webmaster tools page on link schemes. This is Google’s terminology for any kind of activity that is underhandedly attempting to build links to a site. The specific guidelines most relevant to PR are in the list of what Google gives as ‘examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site’s ranking’:

“Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links”

Further to this, Google listed some examples of  ‘creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page’, including:

“Links with optimized anchor text in articles of press releases distributed on other sites.…

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3 SEO terms that should be left to die

Posted by Ian McKee on Jul 22, 2013

DodoMarketing, especially where digital is concerned, is like any other technical discipline in that a certain amount of, shall we say, vernacular is required. You need a few specific terms to describe activity, processes, and you know, stuff, or you’d be forever saying ‘yeah, we’ll do some stuff and then some things’.

A lot of these terms are required in order to articulate activity and a strategy. However, as much as industry jargon is a necessity to a point, sometimes these terms become meaningless even for those who use them regularly. And sometimes, technology moves on so that even the activity itself is meaningless, and the term left redundant.

Here are a few of the terms that I think have reached that point in SEO.

Link building

While not difficult for industry outsiders to understand, ‘link building’ is a term that has come to have negative connotations. It smacks of the poor SEO practices of old, using splog networks and low-grade aggregator sites to grow the number of links to a site.…

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