Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land has a fascinating post on PRWeb, the company which issued a fake press release about a fake Google acquisition. Even when it’s not being used to perpetrate hoaxes, he explains, spammers take advantage of it to inject bad stuff into big-time news sites and search engines:
It’s all about distribution. In the past, you’d get a press release out and hope newspapers might pick up the story, often using the release as a basis for writing their own stories — ones that might be fact-checked, or sourced with others, or get turned into something other than a promotional item.
Instead, with PRWeb and other services, you can get whatever you want published and distributed verbatim into a wide range of news sources. To illustrate this, let’s start with some published press releases that should all have the required integrity promised by PRWeb.