At first, it sounds great: spend a predetermined amount of money for search engine optimization work, and get results that are guaranteed.
Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this? More broadly speaking, why doesn’t every SEO company provide guaranteed results with the work they do?
As it turns out, there are a host of problems associated with guaranteed SEO services. As a trusted leader in the digital marketing industry, Sympler is viewed as an effective resource for businesses who want to get the most out of their SEO spend. So, we thought it would be appropriate to address the recent surge in hype surrounding guaranteed SEO.
After reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of why ‘guaranteed SEO’ is not everything it’s cracked up to be.
What Qualifies as Guaranteed SEO Services?
When we talk about guaranteed SEO services, we’re essentially referring to any paid service that has an implied or explicit guarantee for certain search engine results pages (SERPs) rankings when using specific keywords or keyphrases.
Some SEO service providers will also assign a timeline within which they’ll promise these results. Some of the claims will read something like:
“We will get your website to list #1 on the first page of Google results within 30 days, or you pay nothing!”
…or something to that effect. The reason these companies are making these claims is simple: because no one is stopping them. It’s not illegal to advertise guaranteed SEO services, just like it’s not illegal to sell furniture that’s ‘guaranteed’ not to fall apart within 10 years.
The issues begin to reveal themselves when you dig a little deeper into the practices and promises involved with guaranteed SEO providers.
The Main Reasons Why Guaranteed SEO Is a Bad Idea
The most fundamental reason why guaranteed SEO services are a sham is because no one can directly control search engine rankings. The algorithms used to determine what sites rank where on the SERPs are vast, complicated, and ever-changing. Moreover, no single person or committee has the capability of modifying how these algorithms treat a specific webpage or other online asset.
Even Google itself is vocal about shying away from guaranteed SEO service providers. In their Search Central Documentation, Google says:
“Your prospective SEO should be able to give you realistic estimates of improvement, and an estimate of the work involved. If they guarantee you that their changes will give you first place in search results, find someone else.”
Now, let’s be clear: there are many things that an effective SEO agency can do to positively influence SEO rankings. Optimizing on-page content, restructuring site layouts, enhancing web page load speed, and building a network of high-quality backlinks can definitely go a long way. But, even when all these things are done with top-level expertise, the almighty ranking algorithms used by Google, Yahoo!, Bing and others remain, at their core, uncontrollable.
Never Let a Black Hat Cross Your Path
Another key reason why guaranteed SEO providers should be avoided has to do with what is known as ‘Black Hat SEO practices’.
A Black-Hat SEO technique involves bending or outright breaking the rules that govern ethical SEO. A guaranteed SEO provider might actually be able to quickly get your website to rank on the first page of Google within a month, but to do so, they might have to do some shifty things to show those quick results they’re guaranteeing.
Some examples of Black-Hat SEO practices include:
- Keyword stuffing
- Using invisible text
- Automating content generation
- Spamming related queries to Google or other search engines
- Engaging in negative SEO (filing false claims against your competition, etc.)
- Using doorway pages
- Creating associated domains with duplicate content
- Employing the use of viruses, trojans, or other malware
Remember that once you hand control of your website over to a guaranteed SEO service provider, they can quite literally do whatever they want with your online assets. And, if they decide to go rogue just to get you quick results, the end result might be a blacklist from Google that will wind up hurting you much more in the long term.
Guaranteed SEO providers might also use fine print in their guarantees—fine print that might seem acceptable at first but could prove troublesome once the work starts in earnest.
Here’s an example. A a guaranteed SEO provider might tell you they can guarantee they’ll make your Denver plumbing business rank #1 on Google, but only for the keywords they choose.
What good would it do for your Denver plumbing business to rank high for the keywords ‘tiny purple rocking chairs’? Not much.
At the end of the day, a reputable SEO services provider should provide you with achievable, realistic expectations that make sense for the amount of money you’ll be spending. And, they should keep you informed every step of the way, with explanations for why they’re making the changes they’re making.
Interested in learning more about how Sympler can assist in making your SEO hopes and dreams a reality? Get in touch with us today.