As SEO’s, everyday we’re having to work smarter to help our clients increase search engine traffic from relevant clusters of keywords while following Google Webmaster Guidelines. However, as we work smarter, many on the outskirts of our community are still practicing optimization techniques that should no longer work for higher or greater SERPS placement.

Just weeks ago Google updated their Link Schemes document as expected from Matt Cutts’ May 13th announcement that Google would be taking stronger action against spammers.

Google Link Schemes - Press Release Distribution

Did Google Change Their Mind?

Despite the updates, one brand in particular continues to ignore warnings and succeed in gaming search results through a technique called “Press Release Distribution”, where content containing keyword optimized anchor text is distributed to hundreds (if not thousands) of news websites; thereby creating thousands of spammy backlinks almost instantly.

For example, below is a screenshot of a press release from this watch-related website that not only participates in link schemes, but also manages to still place near the top for each keyword they spam with using optimized anchors:

Press Release Distribution SEO Spam

Here’s another screenshot taken from identifying 36,631 links (57% of this website’s backlink profile) link containing the explicit anchor text “Rolex watches”. This doesn’t look spammy at all, does it?

Explicit Anchor Text

Had Google actually made good on their threats, site’s like these would be going down in search rank algorithmically so guys like me wouldn’t have to write blog posts like this one in hopes of getting a manual review in favor of those websites trying to earn higher placement through brand-building, sweat and user/conversion rate optimization.

For the record, the site above has been reported to Google

Do you have a competitor who is also gaming the SERPS through press release distribution? What’s your thought on how long it will take Google to flag and remove these listings? Please share in the comments below.