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The SEO First Page Placement Guarantee is Almost Always a Scam

There are a lot of companies out there who use words like “guaranteed” when they announce that they can get your website on the first page of Google. But that’s almost never actually a guarantee they can back up. Even Google’s Webmaster Tools puts is succinctly: “Beware of SEO’s that claim to guarantee rankings.”

So why do people fall for it so easily? We have no idea — probably it’s because people expect, when they buy a service, to get specific, measurable results. When you pay for a maid, you expect a clean house. When you pay for a chauffer, you expect to get to your destination comfortably and on time. When you pay for an SEO, however, you’re not buying a sure thing. As prominent SEO speaker Rand Fishkin once wrote:

SEO scams have used ‘guaranteed rankings and traffic’ as a slimy catchphrase to lure in gullible buyers with too-good-to-be-true promises. That association has stained the entire industry. SEO’s cannot control the search results the way FedEx can control shipping packages or Coca Cola can guarantee the taste of their beverage. The search engines alone are responsible for…the rankings

Now, there are exceptions — every once in a long while, you’ll find an SEO company so confident that they don’t take any money from you until they’ve delivered a first page placement. Those groups are amazing — and usually quite expensive; moreso than you’d have to pay a typical SEO company for the same placement.

It’s a sad situation, but the fact is that SEO is a ‘magic pill’ kind of industry — people want there to be silver bullet-style solutions, fast workarounds, and guarantees, and there’s just no way to go about doing any of that. So long as there’s opacity in the system — and there has to be because Google requires it — there will be people out there willing to take your money, do nothing for you, and then claim that they worked their butts off to no avail.

In short, the lesson is this: if your SEO company is guaranteeing results, be suspicious — and ask them for specifics. Ask them for a timeframe, and if they don’t deliver within that time frame, don’t hesitate to ask for all your money back and switch companies.