I see some of the SEO Consultants guarantee for 1st page listing in Google is this possible to guarantee for 1st page listing?
This is one of the most common questions that we, as SEO’s have to deal with and the short answer is “No”. No company (other than the search engines themselves) can, with 100% certainty, ensure you a 1st page listing in the organic search results. The paid / sponsored listings are a little different and it is quite possible to guarantee those results, but not for the organic stuff.
[shameless plug] A couple of years ago I discussed this on my own blog with the post What rank checking and nose picking have in common, but even Google advises against using SEO’s who guarantee results. They state:
No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.
While we, as SEO’s are often quite confident in our skills which have been acquired through years of testing, reading, experimentation and interacting with other SEO’s – the fact of the matter is, we have no control over what (and when) search algorithm changes are going to happen. Further to that, the results that one persons sees may differ considerably due to geographic locations, personalised search data / history, universal search, local business search listings and the list goes on and on.
If you’d like to read more information on this topic, Rand at SEOmoz has put together a great post about Why Reputable SEO Firms Don’t Promise Guaranteed Search Engine Rankings.
Hope this helps
SiteMost – Brisbane SEO
There are usually two techniques that they use to fulfill this “guarantee”.
The first, like Kalena alluded to, is the paid listings. Not everyone knows the difference, and some companies take advantage of it.
The second is to get the client ranked on the first page for some obscure query. For example, search for “kalena guarantee 1st page listing”, and she’s first! Pretty much every site has something they rank near the top for. A shady SEO will find that gem and then highlight it.
Anyhow, like she said, no one can honestly guarantee a first page placement. If they do, run away!
@Mickey – thanks for weighing in. Agree that guarantees are a red flag. Just wanted to point out that Peter actually wrote this post and not me ?
I agree. Luckily, I think more and more people (businesses) are becoming aware of SEO and web marketing in general. Still a long way to go…
I’m going to be picky here and disagree. A first page gaurentee IS possible if the client doesn’t mind what search phrase their website ranks in the top 10 for!
@Sheldon – You’re right – but the purpose of this post was to educate people to avoid SEO firms who guarantee services because most likely they’ll get you ranked for the longest long-tail terms possible… or are engaging in techniques that could get the clients site in trouble.
It’s like me guaranteeing that I’m the best SEO in the world – under the proviso that the word “best” is defined in my terms and conditions as “better than my gold fish” and “world” is defined as “my bedroom”.
Sure you could do it, but it really wouldn’t be ethical and certainly wouldn’t give you much credibility.