The Myth of Guaranteed SEO Services: Why No Company Can Promise Top Rankings

The notion to be made further solid is that SEO and its various services are typically not hard to understand in terms of expected results. Often times, the understanding is common sense, in stating that if a certain method is employed for a certain period of time on a set objective, then expected results must be in line with that method.

These services come at a cost, which often varies quite substantially. A firm considering SEO services naturally would prefer to search for a service with a reasonable cost in view of their objective. For the sake of cost efficiency, companies looking for SEO services should make a relative assessment of goals and expected attainable results. This assessment should serve as a simple guideline before dealing with the wide array of SEO offers. Both company vendors and clients could benefit from a set guideline, as the vendors will often involve themselves into sales driven by assumptions not fully aligning with client expectations.

Successful search engine optimization (SEO) can greatly improve a company’s marketing strategy, often bolstering the satisfaction of the marketing director through its relative effectiveness in comparison to price. This particular success with SEO often brings success with search result rankings. Due to the multifaceted budget needs of today’s companies, there is a wide range of SEO services available. These come with a range of results, often having much to do with a company’s objectives. These objectives often boil down to improved search ranking for some key term—often for the benefit of increased revenue.

Understanding Guaranteed SEO Services

The justification of the cost in SEO and what to expect in return always varies. But the cost of hiring an SEO consultant or company which offers a no win no fee service will always seem expensive. This is where the appeal of guaranteed SEO company is most prominent. Step now, we all want to be on top of the SE’s! But this dream is an expensive one in most cases, and there is no worse feeling than realizing you have invested thousands into a no result advertising campaign. Guaranteed services might sometimes seem like a gamble, with the affordable and more expensive services generally differing in what they deem the success in their services. A webmaster might be under the impression that the guarantee is in some way or another a fail-safe that he/she will receive a refund if the rankings are not achieved. In most cases, this understanding of the guarantee is not the reality, with terms and conditions on the guarantee of the service preventing a refund when the rankings are not achieved. But the increase in on-page improvements, which can help with search engine rankings, can be seen as a positive for a service. A common example of this is WordPress websites. If you think you might need guaranteed SEO services to increase your search engine rankings, the best step you can take is to use a service which will make an attempt to increase the search engine rankings of your site to a point after which, if the desired results are not achieved, you won’t pay the service until they are. This would mean that improvement on rankings is a low-risk investment. But it might also be said that this would be the same as paying for guaranteed service. But many claims from companies doing on-page SEO improvements are not contractual obligations. This means that there is less commitment and a higher risk of the company doing nothing for the site in order to seek financial gain from a contractual service. It is all a matter of opinion on what can be seen as a guarantee and what is deemed value for money over the many methods of search engine optimization.

Everyone wants to achieve top search engine rankings. But achieving top search engine rankings can be a bit of a moving target in reality, as the methods used by search engine companies for ranking can not only be very changeable, but many search engines have been accused of working in a manner which suggests that they have deliberately engineered the ranking systems in such a way that it encourages people to buy their advertising. This means that achieving and maintaining high search engine rankings might require an investment in pay per click and sponsored links, which might price the organic search engine results out of the market, in addition to any investment in SEO.

Definition of Guaranteed SEO Services

When companies decide to hire internet marketing companies to this day, they do so primarily with one goal in mind – increasing site traffic (and ultimately sales) through the improvement of search engine rankings. The thing companies must be wary of in their search for SEO success is the “guarantee”, or any form of assurance that suggests unrealistic or unattainable results. This is never more apparent than with Guaranteed SEO Services. Many forms of SEO simply do not exist because no one can control search engines and their results. Many companies will claim to offer a service which does not exist and which is unattainable, either because the service that they are providing has no effect on search engine results or because they are using unethical or black hat SEO methods. While there are many ethical SEO services out there that can dramatically increase your search engine results, a guaranteed service promise from a company that is utilizing a service that will never be effective can be crippling to a company that is paying for it. A guaranteed SEO ranking comprises the following: the client paying an online marketing company to take a turn in their website search engine rankings, often with an unknown deadline.

The goals may include reaching certain keywords to enter the top 10 or moving higher with certain keywords by X amount of positions; i.e. “reach page one in the next 6 months”.

Limitations of Guaranteed SEO Services

Getting back to the differing views of success, SEO is an ongoing and fluid process that can take on many shapes. It’s reasonable to state that a broad branding-related keyword term will take much more effort and time to achieve #1 SERP results than a longtail phrase with subtly immediate ROI. So what sometimes happens is that the “unfortunate” SEO client fails to understand these differences and is informed that particular results can be guaranteed within a set cost or time-frame. Depending on the case, this can often result in an SEO undertaking work that may be affordable or outright not worth it given the extent of effort on the project vs the compensation. This, in the end, is poor value for both the client and the provider.

This brings us to an issue that has an effect on the SEO industry in its entirety: the issue of guaranteeing particular results for SEO work. Of course, any company in any field wants to reassure and provide confidence in the delivery of their service; it’s just good business. Unfortunately, the nature of SEO has led to a “less than reputable” bunch of SEOs who will promise and guarantee results which, in some instances, are unattainable or straight unrealistic.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be delivered from many different perspectives and under various intentions. Unfortunately, companies considering these services have many different views of what it is and subconsciously set variable levels of “success”. Success too, depending on how it is defined by a particular entity or individual, can be relative (e.g. a 20% increase in revenue, a 50% increase in traffic, a new look at the top brand within its industry, etc.). All too often, these differing views on “success” lead to misunderstanding between the SEO and the client despite the delivery of optimal results.

The Complexity of Search Engine Algorithms

Search engine algorithms are complex and always changing. What ranks high in the search engine one month may not rank high in the next month. An example of this would be the recent update to Google’s Search Suggestions quality. Changes were made to the algorithm that was affecting search suggestions and quality. Some experts suspect that certain changes were made to the algorithm that affect the way Google Suggests will offer suggestions on local businesses. This could effectively impact a local business’s online marketing efforts. Changes such as these are not uncommon and are made all the time. The problem with this is that it is impossible for an SEO company to guarantee where, when, and how a customer’s site may be affected by such changes. Although it is true that the site may rank higher after the changes are implemented, there is no guarantee that the SEO service has anything to do with it. This is because the changes made to the site could have just been taking effect. On the same note, many ranking changes could be due to how competitors’ websites are changing.

Competitive Nature of SEO

Competitive industries also require more time, sweat, and persistence in order to triumph over rivals. Success is not achieved overnight, it requires careful planning and a great deal of execution. Since most consumers only click on the first few results, it is necessary to be listed on page one or two. An experienced SEO would then set a target of top 10 rankings, as to add a little more direction. Who would invest time and money into an SEO campaign, if they knew it would lead to results on page 5? Unfortunately, the intense competition faced often means that companies will need to roll up their sleeves and get to work. High levels of competition mean more effort, more effort means more time, and more time means more money spent on the campaign. Because manpower has a direct relationship to the cost of a campaign, it is practically impossible to guarantee when results will be achieved, if at all.

The first aspect of the ‘Limitations of Guaranteed SEO Services’ is the competitive nature of search engine optimization. In any particular industry, there are tens of thousands of companies that are all targeting the same keywords. Most often, only 10 of these companies will be listed on the first page of search results. Assuming that there are 5 search terms that are relevant to what a company does, this still only allows for 50 total spots. In a lot of cases, there will only be 1-5 spots available to newcomers or those that have not previously engaged in a search engine optimization campaign. Because of this, SEO companies are unable to guarantee results of top rankings, especially in competitive markets.

Lack of Control over Search Engines

A site that has top search engine rankings will also need ongoing maintenance and updating of the SEO and link building elements to maintain its top rankings. This will usually have to keep going until those keywords reach their saturation point, which is when the search engines deem the keywords to have too many results and/or become too competitive. This can take a very long time, and usually guaranteed SEO services contracts are only about 3-6 months.

Consider this. If an SEO company gets your site to the number one spot on Google for specific keywords, how long would you expect to stay there? Assuming the SEO company did their job and got the top spot, it wouldn’t be long before a competitor who hired another SEO company, and possibly a better one, would knock you off the top spot. The SEO companies who guarantee top rankings, that it will maintain for some time, even though it’s unethical, the truth of the matter is, even if you have a great site and do everything right, there is still a possibility that your site can be penalized or knocked off the top spot in search engines. In my opinion, there is no SEO company that can guarantee top rankings over a long period of time for any keyword, no matter how competitive, due to the unpredictability of search engine algorithms and the amount of improving SEO and link building techniques that are being used by your competitors. Guaranteed SEO services are basically only as good as the amount of time that you have them. When an SEO company tells you that they can guarantee top rankings for certain keywords of your choice, right now what they are really telling you is that they can dedicate x amount of dollars trying to get your site to rank on top of search engines for those keywords. Once those keywords have top rankings, the SEO campaign for it does not stop there.

Reliable SEO Strategies for Long-Term Success

There is no denying the importance of a functioning, professional website which has clean code and utilizes the use of numerous high quality, relevant keywords. Content creation is probably the single most emphasized strategy for SEO success. By this point, it should be obvious to anyone paying attention that the spammy, “low to no-quality” tactics will not work when it comes to optimizing your website. In the end, developing engaging content which is both relevant to your customers and portrays your company in a positive light is what will get those desired rankings that will stand the test of time. By showcasing your company and making your online presence a realized extension of your company’s ideas and goals, you develop a high quality image that will resonate well with your customer base. This will, in turn, promote increases in sales/leads for your site while further solidifying your brand image within the people who mean the most for your company. It’s at this point where a very solid argument can be made in favor of hiring a marketing company which will be able to develop and execute a strategy for creating and optimizing this content. This can be a very viable option for companies looking to turn the corner and get a little more from their SEO investment.

Quality Content Creation and Optimization

SEO copywriting can be a useful approach to implementing a content-driven keywording strategy and effective utilization of search terms. Effective copywriting can replicate salesmanship online and will guide prospective customers through informed decisions and the ordering process. Often times, if your method of engaging your customer proves to be successful, you’ll have repeat business and retain customers if you can retain information. A great place to implement copywriting strategies is on case studies, newsletters, and online tutorials. These types of documents are often uncatalogued and are generally hidden on the site, so providing a direct URL to the document will not only assist in adding these specific pages to the search engine databases but will also require less effort in trying to get these pages indexed.

SEO firms who claim that they can guarantee you top rankings by a certain date often are using black-hat techniques or simply outsourcing the work overseas to spammers. A company who has a long-term relationship with their client will be focusing on white-hat techniques which will last a lot longer than any other tactic. Quality content you create and optimize on your site will be a huge factor in the results of your organic search rankings. In recent years, many companies are focusing more on SEO copywriting and less on SEO with the increased pressure of the search engine algorithms focusing on quality content.

Building High-Quality Backlinks

Another popular method for acquiring high-quality backlinks is by creating an informative infographic. Infographics have grown increasingly popular over the past five years and are shared prolifically across many social media platforms. If you can offer your infographic to a website that is relevant to the content displayed in it, they may use it on their site as a visual aid, providing a link back to your own site. This process can also be used with any kind of high-quality visual media.

By building high-quality backlinks, I’m talking about time-consuming and rewarding methods such as writing articles and guest posts for other websites. To do this, you’ll need to invest as much time into your article as you would for an article on your own site. It should be well-written, relevant to the website it is being posted on, and most importantly, provide value to that site’s visitors. This method can also be very rewarding from a referral traffic perspective. A well-written article that sits on another site could send a lot of traffic your way if those reading it find it interesting. A great place to look for article writing opportunities in your given niche is the “write for us” page. Many websites have a page dedicated to guest post submissions, letting you know exactly what they are looking for and what their site is about.

Building backlinks is, hands down, the most important aspect of SEO. It’s also the most risky and challenging. Maybe because of the challenge involved, there is a growing number of link building businesses appearing across the internet. By trying to sell backlinks, in the form of link packets for instance, they present a simplistic way of improving your website’s link profile. The real reason these link packets are so appealing is down to the price, a few hundred dollars in return for a two-thousand-word article that has been randomly generated using software just doesn’t match up! Link sellers also try to claim that Google cannot detect their links. This is a pretty bold statement to make, how do they know? In my experience, Google’s algorithm is just too advanced to be fooled by any sort of link building technique. Anyways, going back to the topic of “high-quality backlinks”, link packets and cheap link building businesses are not the answer. If your website is caught using these tactics, you’ll be penalized, it’s that simple.

On-Page Optimization Techniques

Having an easily understood and neatly organized site structure, employing a sitemap, and using breadcrumb navigation will help both search engine robots and users have a better understanding of your site’s content. This will inevitably help boost the SEO rating.

The relevance of your title tags cannot be understated, and some say that title tags are among the most important on-page SEO factors. The title tag is used by search engines to display a page in search results and also appears at the top of a web browser. It is therefore essential to ensure that your title tag is both keyword relevant and compelling enough to get a user to click on it. Generally, title tags should be unique to the page they are describing and ideally 60 to 70 characters in length.

There are a number of on-page optimization techniques that will enhance your website and likely give you a far better chance of achieving ever higher search engine ranking. When you are 301 redirecting or employing a permanent redirect, it is important to redirect your outdated pages to live pages with similar content. You want to avoid using 302 redirects where possible. 301 redirects pass on up to 90-99% of link juice (ranking power) to the redirected page. This, in turn, helps maintain the rankings of that particular page on search engine results and also helps the website maintain its position. Using 301 redirects also means that users who have bookmarked the page or recognize the old URL need not worry. They will still be directed to the same page whether they use the old or outdated URL. This, in turn, also makes for better user experience, and user usability is a great factor that major search engines now use to rank web pages.

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