A recent patent filing by Google demonstrates that successful public relations can actually improve a company’s web site visibility by providing earned media links to the company’s site. This means that every time a business gets a mention in a media story it is counted as an implied link to the site, raising the ranking of the site in Google’s page rankings.

This is strong validation for the PR strategies a company employs over time to earn media coverage. As a company receives media mentions, awards and recognition through its public relations efforts, the organic search engine rankings improve. This improvement increases the ability for consumers to find the company through an organic search.

The first question that may come to mind is that, while this is great news, how can that be validated for a company? Analyzing the amount of organic search traffic you receive from Google over time can help correlate PR efforts to search results.

The next time you are considering a media relations campaign, you may want to look beyond the immediate effects of the campaign, such as direct inquiries from earned media placements, and take a longer view that includes the valuable search engine optimization that the campaign may contribute to.