In the course of my day-to-day work, I come across a lot of business owners who have paid for SEO services that have turned out to be less-than-stellar. In fact, I've probably lost count of the number of people who have been burned by SEO.
In many of these cases, the business owner in question was suckered in by claims of "guaranteed first page rankings".
It is this often-abused phrase that is the subject of today's short blog post. Basically, as soon as you hear a potential SEO provider say words to the effect of "we can guarantee you first page rankings", then you need to run for the hills!
No honest or ethical SEO/web marketing firm will ever promise first page rankings when it comes to working on your site. This false promise is strictly the domain of 2nd rate service providers who are into the business of selling "snake oil".
When it comes to getting guaranteed rankings, there really are only two options:
1) Run a Google Adwords campaign with specific focus on bidding up to a high position.
2) Look into "rank and rent" SEO options, where you actually rent (or pay per inbound lead) a pre-existing site that may be ranking with SEO techniques that are generally too aggressive for a branded website.
This isn't to say that SEO isn't a great way to get your site on the first page of Google for those "mission critical" keywords. With the right mindset and willingness to invest to see results, you can achieve some spectacular gains for your website.
However, it IS important to understand that there are no real guarantees in SEO; Google can come along and upend their algorithm at any stage, and you have little or no control over what your competitors are doing either.
So next time you are looking to partner with an SEO agency and you hear them say something like "rankings guaranteed", jump on your bike and ride far away!
By Sam Frost
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