Tuesday, October 31, 2006

PRWeb stops free press release distribution

Since last week, PRWeb stopped free press release distribution; the minimum entry level for distribution through PRWeb is $80/-. The other very popular free press release distribution site, PRLeap, obviously considers this an opportunity to take a shot at PRWeb on their blog.

While we respect a business decision (may be the acquisition of PRWeb by Vocus recently has got something to do with this move), the justification from PRWeb ("the cost of innovation") somehow does not sound too good. Google continues to innovate and offer most of its services for free; some other reasonably good press release distribution providers are providing their services for free. I wishe the "innovators" at PRWeb could have thought of another way of monetizing their service (contextual advertising?).

There could be arguments either way whether PRWeb's move is good or bad for marketers. The positive aspect of this is that it "could" eliminate a lot of spam releases and cluttering the Internet with junk content, and thereby getting genuine content in front of the target audience. On the negative side, this move will prevent many small businesses from taking advantage of online PR and getting search engine visibility.

Here's another question that I am faced with: Is PRWeb really the best in its class? I know it appears to be the most popular with the biggest brand recognition; however, when I compare the search visibility for releases distributed through PRWeb, PRLeap and 24-7pressrelease (with the highest contribution paid to PRWeb), 9 times out of ten I've found releases from 24-7pressrelease & PRLeap figure higher in search results on Google than the release distributed via PRWeb. Haven't been able to figure that one out yet...

So, for marketers who don't want to dole out $80 for distribution via PRWeb, don't worry--- try out PRLeap & 24-&pressrelease.

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