A Boutique Digital Agency

Guaranteed Rankings, Is There Such A Thing?

08 Mar

All too often when speaking with potential clients the subject of guaranteed rankings is raised. While the sales pitch is nice the reality is no one can guarantee a site can be ranked in a certain position for a certain keyword unless the ranking includes pay per click results. Sure I’ve read the sites that “guarantee” results and if you carefully read their pitch you’ll see dozens of loopholes that allow them to make the claim of guaranteed rankings. So let’s briefly put them under the microscope.

One litmus test I like to apply to any SEO company is where do they rank themselves? So taking that test and doing a search for guaranteed rankings on Google I used the top results. (Sorry, I’m not going to reveal the site, as the point of this post is not about bad mouthing a competitor) The title tag on the homepage of the first result, which should contain the keywords or phrase that the page is going after, is “Search Engine Rankings | Search Engine Ranking”. Doing a search on Google for the term Search Engine Rankings and then Search Engine Ranking pulls zero top 50 results for the top ranked site that guarantees rankings. Take that test to Yahoo and the results are the same, MSN does return front page results for the plural version and page 4 for the singular version. So if they were clients who had been told they would have guaranteed rankings for their main keywords and saw these results what do you think the reaction would be? Sure, they could probably show results on several of the secondary engines they list as part of their guarantee. Engines like All The Web or Lycos. While traffic is certainly generated from these type engines a consumer looking for SEO is expecting results on the big three and our conversations would tell you that most of them want to be front page, excuse me #1 on Google.

So the top ranked company for the term Guaranteed Rankings has nailed down a front page listing for one term on MSN and zero in the top fifty on Google and Yahoo, since I’m scoring this test I’ll give it a 30.

Another guarantee several companies use is performance based. “You only pay for top results”. Again this sounds great but let’s look at that a bit more closely. The guarantee is usually for a set number of keywords. While the number varies, 20 seems to be a frequent number that is used. So in essence if you only do pay for front page results and they are only concentrating on twenty keywords and if they perform twice as good as the example above you are still only ranking a few keywords on a couple of the main engines. Now you could probably convince yourself that 4 or 5 top 10 rankings is great but consider that a effective optimization company would be working on hundreds of keywords for your site that while most of them are not the highly competitive keywords they are also likely to be significantly less competitively allowing the site they are optimizing for to receive top rankings on probably most if not all of the main engines and the subsequent traffic from that wide of a spread. That is and always has been the true power of optimization, getting rankings on many keywords not just a few.

So if you’re set on getting a guarantee you may get lucky and have tremendous success, in fact I hope you do but whatever the results make sure you understand upfront exactly what kind of guarantee you’re getting and see what the company you’re considering working with has done for themselves… like the old saying goes “If you can’t do it for yourself how can I expect you to do it for me?”

Do you want to test us? Our main keywords are Search Engine Optimization Dallas, SEO Dallas, Search Engine Marketing Dallas, Web Design Dallas and Website Design Dallas.

Mark Stone