PRWeb and Duplicate Content: Stump Ian, Part 3

Ian Lurie

imnotadoctor asks:

“If I place a press release on my website and then push it through for exposure and backlinks would I get flagged for duplicate content?”

No one knows for certain. However, I’ve done a lot of testing over the years. PRWeb press releases don’t seem to stay in Google’s index for long, if they’re duplicates of press releases on your own site.

You won’t actually get dinged for this, in my experience. Google simply won’t count the link from one release or the other.

For example, here’s a press release that HotBanana did about us entering into partnership with them. It’s on PRWeb:


And a search for ‘hotbanana’ and ‘’ shows the release on the site and on PRWEB:

PRWeb - 2

But, if you look for a link, you’ll find nothing. In fact, you won’t find a single PRWeb link in the entire list of links to

So the short, simple answer is: PRWeb may help you in the short term. Chances are the links won’t ‘stick’ on Google, but they won’t hurt you, either.

Update: One important point that Joe and I point out below. Getting into PRWeb means other writers will likely write about and link to you. So even if the links don’t stick, the press value does, which generates other links, etc.. PRWeb is a fantastic platform (and no, they don’t pay me or sponsor me).

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Couple of questions for ya Ian:
    “But, if you look for a link, you’ll find nothing. In fact, you won’t find a single PRWeb link in the entire list of links to”
    1. Did you look for any PRweb links for in your Google Webmaster Account?
    2. A link to your site is kind of irrelevant to my questions because your site did not contain the press release. had the press release on their site and the prweb submission. I wonder if in their Google webmaster account it showed the backlink from I looked at in yahoo site explorer and noticed backlinks. So it looks like yahoo likes them, but not sure about google.
    BTW thanks for responding to my original question.

  2. It’s interesting, actually. Webmaster tools DO show the links.
    But webmaster tools show 7900 links, total. Only a tiny fraction of those show up in an actual link search.
    The PRWeb links used to show up in a link search. Now they’re gone. To me, that means that Google is excluding them.

  3. Hi guys. It’s an interesting discussion you have going on here. I realize there is comfort in seeing Google display the links but is that the ultimate goal here?
    We certainly don’t see any exclusion or short-term love for PRWeb content by Google. Quite the opposite. For instance it has been some months since one of our clients has launched a release (company was sold, setting up new servers, yada yada) yet when you search using the very competitive keywords they were not ranking well at all for (

  4. Hi Joe,
    I definitely, definitely don’t see exclusion for your content. All I see is that LINKS from press releases posted in multiple locations around the web don’t necessarily boost link popularity.
    I still see great rankings for your releases, etc..
    And posting a release on PRWeb will definitely boost rankings. I think the cause is less direct: PRWeb gets a lot of traffic from a lot of bloggers and journalists. They see stuff show up there, and they write about it, in their own words, with links back to the subject site.
    So PRWeb is a huge help – I hope no one thinks otherwise. My post here deals specifically with whether the links from PRWeb directly to the subject site ‘stick’.

  5. Ian –
    “The PRWeb links used to show up in a link search. Now they’re gone.”
    When you are talking about a link search are you talking about the command? If so I thought Google only shows a sample of our inbound links with link: command.

  6. Yup, using link:
    Google doesn’t give us any indication how accurate link: or the list in the webmaster tools is as far as links actually contributing to ranking. I therefore go with the worst case.

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