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SEO, the New Mystery Industry
The SEO industry is unlike any well-established industry we are all familiar with such as the insurance industry or the stock market. It's new, it's mysterious, it's unregulated, and there's a potential to make a lot of money for those who learn the ropes. There's even more potential to make a lot of money for those who learn the ropes and take advantage of the ignorance of website owners regarding SEO.
SEO's in my not-so-humble opinion have taken advantage of the complexity of their product to give themselves a pass on offering performance standards with a guarantee if they can't perform.
You Aren’t Supposed to Trust an SEO Firm that Guarantees SEO Results, Right?
I like the answer JuicyResults gave on their website for this question: "Wrong. This notion started when Google stated that no firm could guarantee a specific placement for any one keyword, as that would imply a special relationship with Google (which no SEO firm has). Unfortunately, the SEO industry has used this as an excuse to shy away from any accountability."
Guaranteed SEO - It's About Time
I think it's time for the SEO industry to grow up and become mainstream. We have the statistics, we know enough to offer competitive SEO packages, we CAN offer a product that makes sense, yet I think we are afraid of the prevailing mindset in the industry that says, "Reputable SEO companies don't guarantee their SEO work." If we are ever going to be a reputable industry then reputable SEO firms need to do the right thing regardless of the prevailing mindset and excuse making that predominates the SEO blogosphere.
Anybody who is curious about the idea of guaranteed SEO can do a Google search and find a few companies that offer guaranteed results. You will also no doubt run into Rand Fishkin’s mug shot on the first or second page and his Moz blog post with the same title I’ve quoted in this article title. It’s enough to scare many a potential client away from the idea of buying from the others who are offering guaranteed ranking. No, I don’t mean Rand’s mug shot is scary. He has a fine mug shot. Better than mine some would say. What I’m referring to are his title and the post description that goes along with it: “From 1996 through to today, SEO scams have used “guaranteed rankings and traffic” as a slimy catchphrase to lure in gullible buyers with …” Now THAT’S scary. Scary enough to get you to read his article to which I hope to counter for the sake of those of us who do offer guContinue Reading →
I recently sent this question out on Help A Reporter Out: Both Matt Cutts and Rand Fishkin have said that reputable SEO’s don’t guarantee results. Do you? If not, why not? Do you think it’s ethical to keep your client’s money if you can’t get them ranked on Google page 1? Do you know if your SEO works a certain percentage of the time? If you offered a guarantee and could not get them ranked would you try harder or would you just quit? If you can please include your moral and ethical arguments for either offering guarantees or not. While a few offered constructive and ingenious ideas for ways to guarantee SEO, most respondents answered in the negative saying it should not be done. Some were quite forthright in their opinions, like Cat Ledevic: THAT is absurd. How on earth can we offer guarantees when nobody knows from one day to the next what SEs are going tContinue Reading →
While many SEO’s are quite adamant that no legitimate SEO will offer guaranteed services others have come up with novel approaches that do just that. Satisfaction Guarantee Tyler Young at Conversion Insights, which specializes in marketing automation for attorneys, offers a 3 month satisfaction guarantee. If after the first three months a new client is not happy with either his work or the results he’ll give them a full refund. That gives him a built-in incentive to not slack off or otherwise not provide the best service he can. With that kind of offer we all know the potential for an unscrupulous client to use his services with the intention of asking for a refund regardless of whether he’s satisfied or not just to get something for free but according to Tyler: Generally in that time frame, they’ve started to see some results—I suspect if they hadn’t, they may ask for Continue Reading →
If a company is offering a 90 day guarantee on their SEO services they really aught to know what it is they are guaranteeing, don’t you think? I got a call from verifiedbusinesslistings.com and it took me a half hour of grilling a sales rep and her manager to get an answer to the simple question of what exactly it is they are guaranteeing. It boiled down to this, “Market Exposure.” “How much? What does that mean? How many keywords?” I had to repeatedly ask, and I do mean repeatedly. The usual answer, “We don’t have control over these things so can’t predict.” “OK, I understand that, so what ARE you guaranteeing?” Well, after going around and around I think we both agreed they could guarantee my site on Google Page 1 for at least 2 keywords. Whew! I was exhausted. What Does It Take to Get an Answer From Verified Business LiContinue Reading →
Performance-based SEO makes a lot of sense to me. What that is is not paying for “services”, such as how many backlinks acquired or how many keywords targeted but rather paying for how well the SEO campaign performs. If you have been getting emails or phone calls from overseas SEO companies the first thing they tell you is how much work they will do for you, and it’s really hard to get them to provide case studies of how all this work they have done for others is doing them any good, and even harder still to get an honest answer. Why should you pay a single penny for 20 articles written and published every month or 50 backlinks to your website acquired each month if it doesn’t get your website ranked? That kind of SEO pricing makes about as much sense as paying a mechanic for how many times he turns a nut on your car rather than paying for having your car fixed. Continue Reading →
The big names in the industry warn against SEO companies who offer guaranteed SEO. I’m here to warn you against SEO companies that are more than willing to take your money even if they can’t get you ranked. You might be one of them. Did Google really say, “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google”? SEO companies take advantage of and hide behind an unfortunate post on Google’s support page. Yes, Google did say, “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google,” but what does that mean? What they mean by that is no company other than Google has control of where a website places in their search engine, but does that mean a company can’t offer guaranteed SEO? That’s how it’s usually spun by the SEO industry. Did Google really say, “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings.”? Again, the answer is yes they did. Continue Reading →
In the building industry standard practice is to collect 50% of the cost of the job up front and the other half when the job is completed to the customer’s satisfaction. That’s basically the contractor saying if the customer wants to be a (insert favorite pejorative term) and not pay for the work done the contractor is only out half his money and conversely the customer is saying if the contractor does a terrible job the customer is only out half his money. Since both are assuming a risk in such a venture paying half up front divides the risk evenly. That only seems fair and reasonable. At least in that industry. LinkNow! Media Does Not Provide Any Guarantee I just got off the phone with someone from LinkNow! Media who was trying to sell me this website for $600 plus about $800 per year for my painting business: The salesman showed me an electrician’s website that waContinue Reading →
Many will say to run from any company that guarantees rankings, and many of those who say that are themselves SEO companies, yet said SEO companies who are making themselves out to be taking the higher moral ground have no qualms about taking your money if they can’t produce good rankings. Can you see the irony in that? A guarantee, if used correctly, just says, “Rankings are unpredictable, but if we can’t at least do this much for you in any given month we aren’t going to take your money from you that month.” Fair enough? I have been offering some of my clients Guaranteed Rankings! Yes, I actually do guarantee ranking. I tell them that for $1200 I will get their site on Google page 1 for 6 out of 12 high volume keywords. I collect $600 to start with and if I can’t get them to Google page 1 for 6 terms I won’t collect the other $600. Now tell me Continue Reading →
I hear over and over to beware of those guaranteeing Google page 1 but the way I see it if a person knows what he is doing and is confident then he will know he can do that 90% of the time and JUST NOT CHARGE FOR HIS SERVICES if he can’t perform. He’ll only be working for free 10% of the time and that’s a calculated risk he can figure into his pricing, just like a life insurance company that can’t guarantee you will die while you have your policy (not that we would want THAT kind of guarantee – LOL!) To me a guarantee just says a person won’t charge if he can’t produce. All of you SEO companies that say to beware of such a one then are more than willing to take someone’s money if you can’t produce? What’s up with that? Posted in Guaranteed SEOContinue Reading →
Got a sales call today from uswebsitebuilder.com, also doing business as fruitengine.com, saying they could guarantee top placement on Google search results. The girl on the phone said they were guaranteeing the number #1 spot for 20 keywords so they had my interest, and my grilling machine was turned on. After she couldn’t answer any more of my questions the poor gal turned me over to her manager who said the guarantee was for page 1, not #1. So I grilled him about just what that meant and asked if those were keywords people actually used such as “painter” or “painting contractor”. Of course he couldn’t guarantee such “vague” terms so I asked what kind of search terms are included in that guarantee and he said he would do the research and come up with a list and I would get to approve the terms or disprove them. After I pay him to get starContinue Reading →
I’ve heard over and over you can’t guarantee SEO results. This is typical: “Nobody can claim ‘guaranteed rankings.’ For anyone who’s in the process of seeking Search Engine Optimization services, this should be a huge red flag.” That depends. I’ve seen other companies offer guaranteed results and yes a red flag is certainly warranted. But I’m not going to do it like they do it. I’m going to do it the way I would want it done if I were shopping for guaranteed SEO. After the initial set-up fee and either one or two months of off-site SEO, depending on which market you are in, I’m not going to take your money if I can’t get your site on Google page one for at least half of the high-volume target keywords we have agreed on. Sure, I can’t “guarantee” Google will put you there, but I don’t have to take yoContinue Reading →
Lowest Price Point in the Industry – starting at $200/month in a Small Market Best Guaranty in the Industry: Google Page 1 – Or It’s Free! We Are Small Business Specialists Great Return on Investment with Search Engine Optimization No Contracts to Sign A Small Market is one that has less than half a million population within 20 miles of your zip code according to this website. Posted in Guaranteed SEOContinue Reading →
Keywords that are searched for the most. Those are the ones that will bring you the most business. If you have a racing themed limo company for example, it’s easy to rank well for “racing limos” but nobody is looking for racing limos. Everybody is looking for “wedding limos,” “party limos,” or “prom limos”. If they find your racing limo business by searching for the more popular terms you will simply get more business. Posted in Guaranteed SEOContinue Reading →