Audience Development Strategy

The Best Paid and Free Press Release Sites

On content-driven, information-rich websites we use press releases for more than the basic announcement. We also use them to release free white papers because we know they offer more opportunities for inbound links and the SEO benefits required to get a landing page ranked well in Google.

Since Google now holds us responsible for the inbound

On content-driven, information-rich websites we use press releases for more than the basic announcement. We also use them to release free white papers because we know they offer more opportunities for inbound links and the SEO benefits required to get a landing page ranked well in Google.

Since Google now holds us responsible for the inbound links that come to our site, we decided to update our annual guide to the best paid and free press release sites by completely eliminating the sites with low SEO scores. What started out as a 50-something list is now down to just nine.

These PR distribution services are deemed both credible and SEO-friendly, which are the only inbound links we truly value.

  • Credibility: We determined credibility by checking the SEO industry’s most trusted metrics: Majestic Trust Flow and Moz Domain Authority. This process eliminated most of the free sites in our list. We think paid sites should offer more link credibility in addition to bonus features, so we slimmed down our list to include only those with high scores, also.
  • Search Engine Optimization: We also took into account basic SEO functionality. These sites allow tagging, anchor text links, keyword data and other search elements. The paid sites typically allowed up to eight outbound links, whereas most free sites only allow one.

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Our Top Paid vs. Free Press Release Sites

The differences between paid and free press release sites:

  • Free press release sites are usually web-based and may or may not let you include photos, videos, or HTML formatted content.
  • Paid press release sites usually have a press list that they will send your press releases to in addition to posting your release on their website and in their RSS feed. Many paid sites also offer extra SEO benefits like tagging, the option to edit your meta data, and grammar checking. They may also tweet your release to their lists depending on the level of service you choose. Robust analytics also come with the territory.

Free press release sites

I read recently about a test of 60 different free press release sites. The winner of their test was because it was the only one that got them in Google News. Unfortunately, that site had low ranking scores, and still does, so I didn’t include it in this list. It might be worth trying, though. The second place was, which I’ve added to the list this year because it’s almost up to snuff with the others and lets you include a live link. Their free option only keeps the press release up for 90 days.

We’ve consistently found to be the best free press release site. It allows links, tagging and branding for free, but most importantly, it has the highest ranks, unique traffic numbers and inbound links of its competitors. In our own comparative distribution tests, it also ranked higher than any other release.

As mentioned, we only included free sites with good domain authority, because you are who you associate with when it comes to search optimization and inbound links. Their rank tells us about their SEO potential for any live links we put on their site. Over the years that we’ve maintained this list, PRLog has always remained at the top, but even sites like have lost rank across all search reputation monitors. Also, many of the formerly free sites have gone paid. It’s a shorter list, even shorter this year than last year.

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Paid press release sites

It used to be a toss up between PRWeb and PRNewswire for the best paid press release site. PRNewswire had the highest score of all the paid sites and offers a huge arsenal of tools for optimizing your release with wide distribution and a hefty price tag—the average cost of a release with all the bells and whistles can cost as much as $1,000. PRWeb offered a robust release around $300 and a basic one for $99 and both offered activity and SEO reporting on press releases. However, Cision owns them both now and their sites look almost identical, even though they still have their unique URLs.

Once logged in, you’ll find that PRWeb is similar to before, but PRNewswire is a higher touch option, and you can’t even set an account up without talking on the phone to one of their representatives.

The list below started as a 20-something site list and has been slimmed down quite a bit. But hey, you only need one good distribution service, right? The sites listed here are also known to cache your press release indefinitely. Some sites delete them after 90-180 days. Our preference is PRWeb for their high domain authority, (they’re all in the 90+ range) and their approachable pricing.

Tips for choosing the best press release distribution service

  • Search Engine Optimization. Most press release sites are designed to allow you to optimize your press release for search engines using tags, anchor text links, header tags, etc. If you’re not sure, look on the PR website for a statement about press releases being optimized for search engines (SEO).
  • Note NoFollow tags. NoFollow tags are inserted into website code to stop the search engine spiders from following the links. If the spiders can’t follow the links in your press release, there is little benefit.
  • Seek Inbound Links. The more inbound links they receive, the more respect they will earn and the higher they will rank in search engines. The higher they rank in search engines, the more visible your press release will become, and the more traffic you will receive.

The “wire” isn’t the only way to get buzz out there these days, though. Try out some of these alternatives for unique and possibly even more valuable press coverage:

  • PitchEngine – Pitch your customers / subscribers directly and create elegant press releases. Also try PRnob.
  • Help a Reporter Out (HARO) – Don’t let the journalists come to you, go to the journalist by answering queries asked by major news outlets.

Promoting freebies through press releases

Most of the time we use free press releases to promote our free downloads. When we launch new freebies, we want the world to know! Here’s how we recommend organizing this process.

1.  Create a press release and submit it to free press release sites, and paid ones if you want.

2. Post the press release on your site.

3. Use your press release to create a circ-builder email and send it to your own email list.

4.  Work out an arrangement with your partners for them to promote the freemium and Rapid Conversion Landing Page (RCLP) to their lists using the copy from your circ-builder.

5.  Send out Tweets and posts to Facebook about the new freemium. Direct readers to your RCLP and attach a unique tracking code.

  • Work with a copywriter to craft 12 unique promotional Tweets about the freemium.

  • Schedule those unique promotional Tweets once per day for 12 days.

  • Schedule them again once per month for 12 months.

  • On Facebook, promote your Freemium and its RCLP on the day it launches and at least once per month.

  • Test to see which formulas perform best.

6. Get in touch with industry bloggers and send them the PDF of your freemium, or access if it’s digital. Include a link to the RCLP and a short bulleted list of take-aways to make their job easier when reviewing the product. Collect their Twitter addresses too, so you can @ them (just once, don’t be that person!)

7.  Create a document that keeps track of everywhere you posted your press release, and all of the sites who wrote about your freemium. Create an ongoing press list from this so that you can focus your efforts more effectively the next time.

If you have anything else to add, add it in the comments!

By Kim Mateus

Chief Strategy Officer

Kim Mateus is Chief Strategy Officer for Mequoda Systems and the Mequoda Systems Content Network where she oversees strategic planning for the organization's 200 plus premium subscription products. Over the past decade, she has guided the development of more than 20 subscription marketing systems including I Like Crochet Network, New England Network and Your AAA Network. She and her team maintain an exhaustive best practices database of subscription marketing techniques and business processes that she uses to advise her clients and optimize the more than 60 websites that make up the Mequoda Systems Content Network. Kim is a frequent speaker at industry events and serves on the board of the Specialized information Publishers Association.

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135 replies on “The Best Paid and Free Press Release Sites”

Great list of Press Release distribution website you can also check iCrowdNewswire offering

iCrowdNewswire powered by Google, is an Advertising Driven Press Release Distribution platform with the sole purpose of distributing press releases effectively on an international scale. Here are some of our distinguished features:

We offer 375+ distribution websites with high domain authority.
Our experts schedule Google and Facebook advertising campaigns.
We translate your press releases in 9 different languages.
We guarantee enhanced geographic and demographic targeting.
We also provide detailed distribution reports to keep an eye on vital statistics and press release performances.

Website Link:

Personally I use Press Release Power, it is a well-known Media Network, which offers quickest and most effective Press Release Distribution Services. With Press Release Power, customers can be assured of instant visibility of their news releases in front of their targeted customers. It has helped me a lot in spreading out my business, check it out here,

This is a great list of Press Release submission sites, Please include my Pr site in your’s PR submission distribution site list.
Press Release Power ensures you the Best Press release writing service, press release distribution, Video Press Release Service as per your’s need. A great wired network for widespread distribution of your press release. Missing this great one from your list Visibility is great. Great blog by the way!

I must say this is a complete post for people who are looking for exact comparison between top press release distributor providers. Good research done.. Thank you for the post.

The list is amazing. Both free and paid sites have huge difference in the services but free sites can also give good results if used properly. Can you please also share best PR distribution software based platforms. is another excellent top press release website (we use them for tech press release distribution). They have been around since 2004 / 2005 and we were actually quite surprised to see they were not included on the list. Look anywhere for reviews yourself (that is how we found them) – they live up to the reviews.

Although not cheap, they are less expensive than ‘the big boys’, and for us, have provided adequate coverage and flexibility. Lets just say ‘great value for buck’.

Dtragstrip Communications Group

Don – Excellent article and resource list – I really appreciate that you quantified your sources via such a robust list of sound marketing ROI factors. Thanks also for including both free and paid (as well as side mentions with caveats). And, finally, thank you for updating this valuable resource – Just outstanding!

A new topic-focused press portal for industry and engineers is available at
Here, companies specializing in industrial and technical areas can create free newsrooms.
In addition to publishing press releases, journal articles, case studies, product announcements and blog entries can also be published.

Hi Amanda,

An excellent article that mentions some great resources (some of which we still turn to on the odd occasion).

We were a little surprised that was left off the list (they are our mainstay for getting news out and providing us with excellent online visibility). I think part of the surprise they were left off was because they are also so well regarded in the industry, have been around for so long (2004 or 05?) and also used by NASA.

We have also had some good success of course with PR Newswire.

Again an excellent list of resources, you may want to look into if you haven’t done so already (I’m guessing you may not have heard of them).



Being one of the many who write yet remain poor, it has been refreshing finding such useful information. My world is 30 years a therapist trying to help.
Like so many the big world of promoting becomes scary as so many are full of promise. Large business feeds of us beginners, anyone got a tissue?

Your article on press releases is very helpful. I have a site focused on workers’ compensation in Georgia, and I would like to use a press release site. However, it sounds like there is little SEO benefit to my site to help direct injured workers to the site. Do you have special suggestions for small businesses in niche industries like professional services.

You know many individuals do not know the power of premium press release distributions. Especially paid ones. I had a product and hired someone to write a press release for me. Then I logged into my prbuzz website to submit the press release. This I found out did not work for me till a friend sent me a link to a Public relations expert who charged me $60 only and submitted my press release to over 500+ news outlets. She sent me a complete customized PDF report showing the tons of sites where my press release was submitted to. In no time I started getting steady traffic to my site and calls from philanthropists. I don’t know for you guys, but the point is having the best public relations expert for your PR needs. In case you guys need her services visit this link You certainly will not regret this. I use her services on a weekly basis though. Its the best so far. I can now boast of international contacts for my products.

If you can afford one of the other services, I highly recommend avoiding They’ve made really amateur and inexcusable mistakes repeatedly, some of which forced us to actually postpone product launches, and their response to the mistakes is generally just as amateur. Unfortunately, the others are just out of our price range, otherwise we would have switched companies long ago.

Thousands of news and releases go live daily. Not every author is aware that the bulk of these PR distributions end up undiscovered by desired reporters. Forbes magazine makes a startling statement. They state that the majority of businesses that publish a press release “wait for the inevitable flood of phone calls, emails and congratulations that never come. Even when they use a service like PR Newswire or Business Wire, many releases end up on page 67 of an independent TV station website in Reno, Nevada that few will ever read.”

Wow, I can’t believe that counts as a mention. Some of this pay PR sites promise 200+ mentions, but being on some random page of a 10,000 page radio website is completely worthless in terms of traffic; maybe there is some SEO benefit?

WireNews offers unlimited press release distribution for just £29.99 + VAT/Tax per month or you can pay £4.99 + VAT per press release. An annual payment plan (£299.90 + VAT) is available as well. Currently the company is offering a limited number of lifetime press release distribution accounts for a single one-off payment of £350 + VAT.

You have listed under your list of free press release websites. This appears to be incorrect as it is free to sign up but they want a minimum of $99 for a press release. Please can you check and review this page as I have just wasted 30 minutes and I am sure others must have had the same experience.

Yes, experienced the same thing. Some months ago Newswire was free, but now they have changed it to paid service only.

Firstly, thank you for your very informative post.

I have been searching for the answer to this question for a long time but it is not easy to find:
I have prepared my Press release. My question is regarding the “Contact” info.
Is this ok to have my contact there? Or, will it scare journalists away? I don’t have a publicist contact. Should I put a friend’s name? Or, both a friend name and my own?
Thank you.

I just wanted to jump in real quick to let you know that PageRank is no longer a thing and Google has been saying so for years.

Thanks for your reply. This article is a few months old before they officially canned PageRank, but we knew it was on the way out, which is why we also include Moz and Majestic scores.

Thank you so much for the information I’ve been searching for much time. It’s such an incredible thing that anybody can feel himself a journalist or even become one. You know, I had a situation a couple of years ago when i was trying to share some information and i used for it. After getting some comments i started to think about how can I improve my content. So now I’m happy about what I do. Share your information to the World and become who you wanna be!

Hi Ken, yes this article is up to date. We have an Editor’s note at the bottom of the article that it was originally published in 2008, and we update it every year. It’s accurate as of the current publish date.

@Madhav – Yes, all of these can be used for small blogs, but it begs the question if you want to risk using a free press service for your site and possibly get hit in any downgrade on any search engine update, or if you want to spend the $300 plus on a higher quality press service. I guess the question you have to ask yourself is what purpose would a press release serve for your blog?

Very impressive and informative articles realting to press release syndication services, and I truly like the comparisons regarding PageRank, Domain Authority and mist importantly, Pricing.

Great post, Amanda!
It’s always helful to have at hand these lists of free and paid services, though I have already known several of them.
Thanks for sharing with useful tips for choosing the best press release services.

Thank you for a good list of free and paid PR sites. Now, I know I’ll be trimming trusted websites in posting our company’s press releases.

This is a good enlightenment article. The old press release practice must be streamlined with the changes in search engine rules about press releases.

Since press release is one of the best sources of website traffic and heavy readership, setting the bar higher in choosing where to post press releases should be a key factor. This will not only help PRs get into Google news but will also increase the company’s credibity and professionalism.

Thanks for a very informative article. Would you recommend posting same press release into more than one press release site (for example one paid and one free) or is it better to just stick with one?

NOT THE BEST on my list.

PR.COM offers an okay user experience – everything looks a bit dated but key functionality is there.

I felt misled by PR.COM

I paid the extra fees for wider distribution and hyperlinks. (not included otherwise) BUT: PR.COM sends the release out with all links being nofollow! That makes it utterly worthless in terms of SEO. PR.COM strongly suggests using the extra service – paid hyperlinks – for SEO and never makes it clear they will do the links as nofollow.

I received no response when contacting them about it.

Would not do again.

I not sure if it’s still worth placing PR on Market Wire and PR Web. Looking the organic traffic data, it seems that these PR sites as well as most of the PR sites out there were heavily penalized by Google’s recent algorithm updates. It’s not worth the money although you may reach a large audience because of their distribution services.
What’s your thinking Amanda?

I did research on my own before settling on PR NewsChannel ( I found their prices to be fair and the sales person to be very knowledgeable. The prices you have quoted for the others are much lower than what I was quoted. Overall nice and helpful article.

How many pr services should I submit my press resource to? Can I do a combination of free and paid sites? Is there an ideal mix? Are there negative consequences if I submit to too many? Thanks! requires a company email address.You cant use your Google or yahoo email, for example. It has to be Since I don’t have a paid business email, this particular PR site is not an option for me.

Hi Tony,

Unfortunately the reality of SEO is that having low-quality links directed back at your site can do damage. That’s why we only choose sites with higher reputations.

From there, we’ve analyzed how effective they are at getting press releases shared and distributed. The PageRank is simply the baseline for weeding out low-quality sites.

This article is just judging the companies on pagerank which does not reflect how good they are by any means!!

Pressat is one fantastic PR site missed from the article, it’s only PR 4 so I suppose you wont put it on the list.

Hey, thanks for including on your list, really appreciate it! is a free self-publishing news platform for PR professionals, agencies and brands to launch and socialize everything new. Our goal is to be the most comprehensive direct-to-customer source for the timeliest news of all new products, services and ideas to make sure that they can be found, discovered and shared.

Would love any feedback or thoughts that you have.

Founder of

prlog is free but it comes with some limitations, can anyone tell me what is the difference between i-news wire with prweb? it seems the first one is in my budget any differences? I like to know which one will help to promote a press release wider?


You mentioned PR Newswire costs $1000 that is not correct because it costs only $300. Also it would be nice if you added another column in your chart to list prices for comparison purposes.

Overall a good article sans these issues.

Your article on press releases is very helpful. I have a site focused on workers’ compensation in Georgia, and I would like to use a press release site. However, it sounds like there is little SEO benefit to my site to help direct injured workers to the site. Do you have special suggestions for small businesses in niche industries like professional services.


Beth, the answer lies in reaching the broader audience of workers, particularly those who are covered by workman’s comp, before they are injured. If you work backward from their problems and situations, you should be able to determine what they need to know in advance of need of services. That understanding, in turn, would determine content choices to reach them where they are so they know you’re a resource. Does that help? Sherri

I’m so glad that you found this post helpful. We will be updating our list periodically to ensure that our recommendations remains current. Keep checking back to find out which sites we believe are the best paid and free press release sites.

Good list – I needed an update on PR distribution services and didn’t want to wade through the sea of options available.
Glad to see PR and inbound links comparison too – it helps determine the ‘value’ I’ll be paying for.

Hi Ray, at the bottom of the article you’ll find the original publication date of Oct. 10 2008. We update it every year and people have told us they bookmark it, so we just keep it here and update it. 🙂

How updated is this article? particularly the ranking. Your article date is 2013 but some comments are as old as 2009.

This is a great tutorial and a list. Generally there are a numerous free press release websites in the internet, but only a few paid sites. I always under estimated the power of these paid pr sites, until i read your article, thanks again for the wonderful share.

Great article. I’m a total press release noob and your article has enlightened me greatly. We are always coming out with new fax broadcast and fax blast services to offer to the business to business community but have never done press releases before. Now that I have read your fine post we will be doing press releases often. Thank You Very Much!!!

Thanks for including on your list of best press release sites. We’re very glad that we topped the list! I do have one important clarification, however. We have many, many press release distribution options that start at far less than $1000, and still include our huge online distribution network. Our team are happy to talk through the options for reaching key audiences and hitting your objectives – while staying within your budget, even if you only have a few hundred dollars to spend. Thanks!

I liked your information on all the best free Press Release sites and all The best Paid Press Release sites. I needed a press release done for me. When I contacted most of these you could not really get a real person. I had lots of questions and they all directed me to an email that I had to post my question on and they would reply via email. Even more incredible was the fact that a lot of theses sites wanted me to create a user name and password first. That to me is extremely annoying. I decided to gop with a site a friend recommended that was not on here. He told me the price was reasonable and you don’t have to sign up. While yes I also had to send an email, they contacted me within 5 minutes of my email. NO JOKE..Try it.. The site really helped me out and understood my needs. I have become a fan of theirs thank in part to their excellent customer service and great rankings for my release. I am surprised they are not listed on your list.

We have been using ABNewswire to publish our press release since 2013 as it is very much reasonable than above mentioned all the companies and much wider distribution network.

They say: The news reach from Bing & Google News to CBS, Fox, ABC, CW, NBC affiliated broadcasting websites and more, and other premium news outlets. Reach Associated Press journalist and editors and thru AP Datafeatures services press releases are distributed to journalist and editors of major media outlets including Wall Street Journal, NEW YORK TIMES. WASHINGTON POST, USA TODAY, LOS ANGELES TIMES, CHICAGO SUN TIMES, and many more. Press release is also send for syndication on News Information Engine (NIE) Circuit. NIE is subscribed by millions of journalists, corporate decision makers, market makers, brokers etc to track and break news. With NIE press release will reach AP, Acquire Media, Comtex, Factiva, LexisNexis, SyndiGate, DMN Newswire network & Newsletters, News360, NewsCentral and media outlets such as Bloomberg, Business Week, Digital Journal, Individual, Equities, TradingCharts, Qtrade Financial, PredictWallStreet, Interactive Data, AIG, Bessemer Trust & etc. and many more..

One should have a try. Get more details via

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