An assurance or guarantee, especially one in writing, that something is of specified quality, content, benefit, etc. or that it will work satisfactorily for a specific period of time is known as a guarantee. (www.dictionary.com),
99% of webmasters have received an email from a company claiming to be able to ensure your site’s top search engine rankings.
Not only in the search business, but in relation to just about any service, guaranteeing is a common occurrence. If your new washing machine comes with a 12-month warranty and your broadband service comes with guaranteed unlimited bandwidth, can you receive any actual guarantees about the benefits of SEO?
Are there any other kinds of guarantees?
Here are a few examples of assurances I’ve seen recently:
You’ll be in the top 20 of the search results for 80% of your keywords if you work with us!
In less than 48 hours, we can get you to the top of Google, Yahoo, and MSN.
And last but not least, my personal favorite:
On at least one search engine’s first page, your primary targeted phrase will appear. The main search engines will place you in the top ten for at least three of your targeted keyword phrases. There must be a minimum of five top 20 positions on all of your desired keyword phrases in the main search engines.”
Confusing rather than encouraging, the above assurance is.
When can I check my rankings, please?
It’s a good question, and the answer is curiously absent from any of these warranties. Your chosen keywords could take months or even years to appear in the top results, so be patient. Is it really worth it to get such a guarantee?
In addition, none of the above assurances state how long your website will remain at the top of search engine results. Is your site safe if Google alters its algorithm and you lose your guaranteed position? Again, this has not been addressed.
Google has/had blacklisted my site. How certain are you that my website will perform as expected?
No, that’s a resounding no. In order to remove a domain’s tainted reputation, it may take years to get it back on Google’s radar. It’s possible that you’d be better off starting over from scratch.
How do I get my site on the first page of Google in under 48 hours?
Achieving a high SEO ranking is nearly impossible. As a result, customers are deceived by this type of guarantee. Because of this, it is more likely that they will use your money to execute a paid search campaign in order to get you onto the top page of search results for the terms you provide. Because the search engines will charge per click for this, you can be confident that your payments to the individual who provided you with this guarantee will readily cover those costs.
Avoid this kind of assurance at all costs; it is nothing more than a scam.
Any of the promises made here are worth anything at all?
In the end, the answer is no, once you’ve plowed your way through the fine print to find out exactly what these guarantees actually entail. A major search engine is bound to show several of your keywords at the top of its results during the next few years… If I had to live with that uncertainty, then no. One cannot provide a guarantee over something over which they have no direct influence.
A manufacturer will give you a 12-month warranty on their washing machine, but they have no control over whether or not it will break down; nevertheless, if it does, they can rectify the problem. The SERPs are not under your control.
If you’re in the SEO business, you don’t need guarantees. They’re just an attempt to entice you to sign with one SEO service over the next best.
OK. As a result, what assurances should I seek?
In the world of SEO, there is no assurance of keyword positions. Only Google’s algorithm is responsible for this. While you can have some impact on the outcomes, there is no way to guarantee that they will occur within a specific time frame.
There should be no gimmicks when it comes to an SEO promise; it should be a goal that can be achieved. What if, for example, you and your team agreed to submit your work to twenty relevant directories by a certain date or to provide X pages of targeted content? These promises can be met, and your search results will benefit from it.
When searching for SEO, exercise extreme caution. False guarantees and fine print should never fool you. You should be able to see examples of their previous work from a reputable SEO firm. Transparency and education are key components of a good advisor. As such, it should not be kept under wraps.