I got an email today that I wanted to share with you loyal readers. The title was 1st Page Results Guaranteed. Now I never ever read emails that are obvious spam. Even though I knew the contents of this one would be garbage, I couldn’t resist.
Here’s what it said:
“Do you wish you could increase your online leads? Getting a GUARANTEED 1ST PAGE GOOGLE RANKING is easier and more cost-effective than you might think. We have helped a lot of businesses thrive in this market and we can help you! Simply hit reply and I’ll share with you the cost and the benefits. See you at the top!”
Have you seen an email like this one before? What about a claim on an SEO’s website similar to this? Or maybe you’ve been told something like this when you’ve met with a search engine optimization firm. If you have, hopefully you deleted it before picking up the phone. If you haven’t, you are lucky because guarantees like these seem to be everywhere.
If you have not seen or heard anything like this before, then I am going to give you a visual to keep in mind for when you do. I want you to associate the SEO guarantee with this picture:
Yes, the SEO guarantee is a pile of garbage. Here’s the super-simplified version of why:
1. Chances are the company that sent this to me did so via an automated script. It’s a mass emailing to a ton of people. That company has no idea what industry I am involved in. A huge part of SEO has to do with the competitive landscape in your industry. For example, there’s a tremendous difference in the amount of work required when it comes to getting on the first page for “baseball tickets” (254M results) versus “san diego software developer” (3.45M results). And that’s just one metric. A good SEO can’t just look at your website for a minute and tell you exactly what it will take to help you. They need to do their homework on your website’s SEO history and the competition that’s getting better results than you.
2. Things can change in an instant. For example, we have clients who are listed on the first page for results of valuable keywords but their slot on that first page changes literally every day. For example, some days Google will add news results. Some days they’ll add maps. Both of those drastically affect results. Trust me, search engines constantly tweak their algorithms. There’s no way anyone in their right mind should ever stake a guarantee on something as volatile as search.
3. Lack of transparency. At the end of the day, no one outside of search engine company employees know the secret sauce. The beauty of SEO is that it’s open to interpretation. There are a number of different thories about what’s effective and what’s not. That being said, there are a ton of things that really good SEOs know how to do. And those things work for more often than not. But it’s not because they have been given secret access to the Google magic. They are successful because they are experienced. And any experienced SEO will never flaunt a gaurantee in front of your face becuase they know that’s crazy.
So, look out for the SEO gurantee. If you hear it or see it, move on to the next company. Hopefully they will know what they are talking about.
Have you ever been given the SEO guarantee? I’d love to hear your story in the comments section below.