Last updated: March 24th 2019
The SEO guarantee. We’ve all heard about it, and some of us have been burnt by it. But the question is, can an SEO company guarantee first page rankings in Google? Of course! Should you believe them? Uh, probably not.
What is an SEO Guarantee?
An SEO guarantee is when an SEO consultant or search engine optimization expert guarantees SEO results in the form of search engine results or search engine rankings.
To put it simply, you should not believe an SEO agency or consultant about SEO guarantees regarding specific rankings for your website. The reason for this is due to many factors, the main one being that SEO’s do not control Google’s algorithm.
Google launches updates on the daily (some bigger than others) that wipe out sites from the SERP’s leaving you on page who knows what searching for your business. As terrifying as it might sound, you could wake up tomorrow to find that all your hard earned rankings have completely fallen off the map.
Contrary to what you might think, SEO’s aren’t completely to blame when this happens as dramatic ranking fluctuations are usually common among new sites. If your site has been around for some time and this has happened to you, contact us today for SEO help.
Why the SEO Guarantee Doesn’t Make Sense
Reason 1: Your Competitors Are On To You
Let’s think about this for a second, if an SEO company guarantees that you will be ranking #1 within a few months, how can you rule out that your competitors aren’t implementing the same strategies are on their websites?
Sure, your SEO provider is improving your website and it’s placement in Google, but so are your competitors and you never know what they are up to. At the end of the day, Google always chooses the site that has more relevancy and trust associated with it. If that’s not your site, you won’t be number #1.
Reason 2: Google’s Ever Changing Algorithm
Google updates their algorithm constantly. They do this to make the search experience inch perfect for their users. An algorithm update could target and get rid of many things, such as spammy websites, websites with a poor relevancy score, slow loading or unsecure websites, the list goes on.
If your website happens to get a hit negatively by a Google algorithm, then what? For an SEO company to overturn that, it could take several months. You can flush those guarantees down the toilet. This is why you can’t expect in any set position in Google, ever, due to the 200 ranking factors at play. Just to add to the complexity of this, no one knows when the next Google update is coming along, it could be this week, it could be tomorrow or it could even be right now.
Reason 3, 4 and 5: Seasonality, Search Location & The Sandbox vs ranking guarantees
There are many reasons why you can’t expect a guaranteed ranking from the search results. For the purpose of this post, we are covering the main ones. Let’s go over 3 more about why the SEO guarantee is bogus. What is seasonality? Seasonal SEO is understanding the rapid changes in customer behaviour. There are periods of time where different services or products dominate a particular industry.
Search location and local SEO, especially in 2019, is just crazy. You could perform a search in one area to see your website ranking in #3 then perform a search in a different area and notice that you have “dropped” rankings. The reason this happens is that Google filters search heavily based on location. This is another reason why guaranteeing SEO rankings is silly.
The dreaded sandbox. This effects new sites and it’s a strategy Google uses to control new sites and it’s placement within the SERP’s. It works like this, if you have a new site, Google knows this domain is brand new and has zero trust and authority. Therefore, regardless of the traction the new website gets in terms of incoming links or activity, Google is still very wary of this site and is trying to ensure that the activity is not a result of manipulation using SEO tactics. The sandbox period is usually for about 3 months, after that, Google starts warming up to your site.
So if you have a brand new website, and a search engine optimisation firm guarantees you quick #1 rankings within a few weeks, forget about it. Unless the keyword you are trying to rank for is gibberish and has zero competition, then an SEO guarantee might make more sense.
SEO Placement Guarantee
So what should an SEO guarantee? If anything…
Instead of expecting guaranteed rankings, an SEO company could instead say that whatever they are going to do to your website, they are going to improve it, provided they are following best practices.
Guaranteed Google Placement
Note, an SEO money back guarantee is completely different from what’s being discussed. That falls on the ethics and integrity of your provider. If you contact a reputable SEO agency to increase your Google rankings, you will see improvements within your rankings and will therefore see results. So it’s a safer option to “ensure” (don’t even use the word guarantee) that your rankings will improve.
Bottom line, an SEO guarantee is bullshit.