In 2012, Google introduced the Penguin algorithm update. It was designed to catch websites that attempted to boost their search engine rankings by, among other things, buying backlinks or obtaining them through link networks. It placed the emphasis firmly on authentic, quality backlink profiles, and it should have started a gold rush for the public relations industry.
It didn’t. The PR industry was very slow to realise the commercial opportunity that Penguin presented, and has been even slower reacting to it.
In a recent article in Influence magazine, Christian Sharp from Firefly rightly said that “PR’s involvement in SEO is becoming easier than ever with Google evolving to answer search queries more like a human would”, but that PR continues to ignore it.
One of the very few communications agencies to make a real play for SEO budgets is Threepipe, the London agency that following a merger with digital agency Blowfish in 2013, last year purchased an SEO operation. MD Jim Hawker has some very interesting views on why PR people are not suited to grasp the SEO mantle.
Below are their at-times-complementary and at-times-conflicting viewpoints. [Read more…]