Nobody thinks about a press release as a way to get onto search engines. People usually just fax their press release to the local newspapers (if they do a press release at all). But there are techniques of utilizing and optimizing press releases to achieve fantastic results in organic search listings-and get on those search engines in just a few hours.

Google rewards news. So, anytime there’s fresh content out there that’s unique and newsworthy, Google posts it on Google posts it in the organic search results and considers syndicates of your press release as sources of rare “quality links” that get factored into your search engine rank.

Achieve the top position in Google and you’re statistically guaranteed to get 80 percent of the click-throughs and generate far more site traffic.

The turnaround and benefits of press releases happen so fast because Google constantly looks for the latest news to suck into its index. News sites are constantly re-indexed because there’s always new content being posted. A typical landing page with traditional SEO might be indexed once a week or even once a month (depending on how often the site is regularly updated).

But the power of press releases isn’t limited to a single high-ranking search result.

Let’s say you took our Search Engine Optimization Essentials workshop and then optimized a Web page to show up with a specific keyword phrase. (We’ll teach you to find keyword phrase opportunities.) You do a great job and land Position 1 in Google’s search engine results page (SERP). Now, you’ve got an 80 percent chance someone will click on your listing. But what if you also had two topical, optimized press releases sitting at Positions 2 & 3? Instead of having an 80 percent chance of getting that click, you may have upped the odds to as high as 97 percent.

Even if someone else has seemingly “locked in” Position 1, if your site and press releases take up spots 2, 3 and 4, you’re doing yourself a significant favor. With multiple “above-the-fold” Page 1 listings, searchers will see multiple avenues and connections between you and their search topic (and you’ll have multiple chances to resonate with the reader).

And be sure to search engine optimize your press release title with a keyword phrase. That way, you’ll achieve a one-two punch.

Don’t be shy. Look for reasons (even excuses) to submit a new press release online. Any time there’s something newsworthy going on with your company, do a press release. Don’t have much different going on? Use your imagination. Maybe you have a new product or one you can feature in a new way. Maybe you have a new hire or are expanding to a second location. Maybe you’re a public company reporting annual earnings or a small business that can highlight a “Before & After” case study.

Remember, any opportunity you can find for a press release means more than just getting picked up by Google and dropped into its index. Press releases get syndicated by thousands of news aggregators and duplicated all over the Web. (News pages are never “penalized” by Google for having duplicate content; Google “gets” that news stories are picked up by multiple sources.) Google also favors press releases because it knows they’re being edited, managed and approved by human beings-not just bots spamming and spewing unworthy junk.

Press release syndication not only increases the number of links back to your own site, but it also increases the chance that people are going to see your press release and learn about what’s going on with your company.

It’s a way of increasing your visibility to the world and getting more eyeballs on your Web site-all at virtually no cost.