The SEO Guarantee Myth

seo rankings guarantee

  • ‘We can guarantee you will rank #1 for ‘keyword’
  • ‘We can guarantee you page 1 for these 20 keywords’
  • ‘We are the only ones that give SEO guarantees because we are better than other agencies in the market’
  • ‘We can guarantee you ranking results and if we don’t, we’ll work for you for free until we get those results’

If you have been in a situation where you have sat across an SEO consultant and they uttered any of the above phrases, or any promises about ranking guarantees for that matter, then you are most likely not dealing with a reputable SEO company.

And this is for good reason. There are three main reasons why guarantees never work, and we have outlined them here for you:

Reason #1: No one, not even perhaps Google, knows the search engine ranking algorithm.

There are currently more than 200 ranking factors that influence whether your website will show up for a specific search term. An SEO guarantee for a project is asking someone (who hasn’t done it before) to recreate the Quay Restaurant Snow Egg, without the recipe. At best it’s a poor imitation and at worst, it might not even be edible!

And it’s getting even more challenge these days, with the advent of localisation and personalisation of rankings. For example, you and your friend can be inputting the same search term into Google on a mobile, but be just 1 kilometre apart, and still get a different set of results.

And so if we follow logic, it goes to say: How can someone not know the algorithm, but guarantee rankings?


Homer Simpson Pondering About SEO Guarantees

Reason #2: We can’t control what your competitors are doing

In addition to the myriad of ranking factors, there is also the aspect of search competition that we do not have influence over.

Let us paint a picture: In an ideal state, if all else is equal, if none of your competitors were doing SEO and improving their site, then it is safe to assume that if you were to undertake SEO activities, your rankings should improve, correct?

ell, in the real world, we can tell you that your competitors are certainly not sitting around, waiting for you to surpass them in the search results. You can be sure some or all of them are fighting hard, probably also working with SEO professionals, to ensure that they get the lion’s share of the clicks in the organic space.

Hopefully the mental picture around SEO guarantees isn’t looking too rosy anymore. But let’s not stop here, we shall continue to put more nails into this myth.

And finally, Reason #3: Search engines themselves express against it

When the search engines themselves, such as Google, try to warn you about ranking guarantee, you can be sure it’s the right advice. Google did just that, and we’ve pasted the snippet below for you:

So there you have it! I hope by reading this you would be savvy enough to identify the reputable SEO agencies, and avoid those that do provide guarantees. If you do that, then we can’t ‘guarantee’ that you’ll have a successful project, but we can say with absolute confidence that your chances of success will be much higher.

Hint Hint, soft nudge: In case you are still clear yet, we are one of the ‘reputable’ companies, so do come speak to us!

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