SEO has received a bad press recently because of the number of companies that have guaranteed rankings to their customers when it clearly is an almost impossible thing to guarantee.
Many gullible small business owners and would-be Web entrepreneurs have been sucked in by these false claims and it hurts all of us. Because of that, many reputable SEO companies stay away from “guarantees” because they don’t want to be lumped in with those bad guys.
Rand Fishkin, has published an interesting post in which he shares some of the claims that some SEO companies have made:
Our search engine optimization software comes with the latest link popularity and web site optimization tools for helping you achieve guaranteed ranking.
The phrase guaranteed ranking is quite astounding really when there are so many variables which make up search engine marketing. The one certaintly is change and that there are no guarantees.
Ranking in itself can be open to interpretation in a big way. Nail down your provider to clarify such statements if they offer such a service. Page 1 ranking could mean many things too – I have my preferences set to 100 on page 1 of Google! That’s less hard to achieve. Top 10 listings is harder.
People are guaranteeing to optimise sites for 100 different phrases. That’s quite a niche… how to confuse a web crawler instantly. Remember, the search engines are looking for relevance – you can’t make a page relevant with 100 keyphrases on it!
Google themselves say that no one can guarantee a #1 ranking, yet still people claim to be able to do this.
The other point I wanted to pick up on that Rand makes is that even if you are #1 on Google, that in itself doesn’t guarantee you anything. If traffic for that keyphrase is minimal, you will receive little traffic, if your page doesn’t convert well – you will recieve no sales!
Read and enjoy.