Labrinth first revealed the radio-edit of "Earthquake" on his official YouTube channel, on 16 September 2011. Remixes by Benny Benassi, Noisia, Eyes, Gareth Wyn and Street Policy were uploaded to Labrinth's Soundcloud account on the same day. Labrinth explained the song's meaning to MTV UK: "For me, the track is about making an earthquake and having people look my way because of how much noise I'm making. Sometimes, the one that shouts the loudest is the one that gets heard so, earthquake is shouting as high as it can." Both the royal trumpets and the operatic monk chorus part were last minute additions to the record. Labrinth inserted the bridge after a friend dared him to put it in.
The full explicit version of "Earthquake" was uploaded to Labrinth's SoundCloud account on 23 September 2011.
Labrinth and Tinie Tempah performed an acoustic version of "Earthquake" with an orchestra and choir in BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge on 20 October 2011.
The "All-Stars" remix featuring rappers Kano, Wretch 32 and Busta Rhymes and new verses by Labrinth and Tinie Tempah was included on the bonus edition of his debut album. The official remix with only the Busta Rhymes verse was also released as a single in the US through iTunes on 21 February 2012 and was included on Now That's What I Call Music! 42 as a "Now What's Next" bonus track.
On 22 May 2012, Labrinth made a guest appearance with Lostprophets to perform their mystery cover "Earthquake". During a conversation with Fearne Cotton, Labrinth revealed that he had originally written the song to perform with Lostprophets, but they took too long to respond leaving Labrinth to perform without them. At the beginning of the live track, Labrinth says "We're about to make it happen", to which Ian Watkins replies 'finally'.
The HD video of the song was uploaded to Labrinth's official Vevo/YouTube channel on 11 October 2011. As of 13 February 2013, the song has received over 45 million views. The video was directed by US Studio, Syndrome Studios, edited by Aleks Colic. This song also featured in the trailer for the video gameDiRT:Showdown.