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Lucy Griffiths

No Guarantees in SEO

1st Jul 2009 SEO 2 minutes to read


SEO and Internet marketing agencies are often given a bit of a rough ride. As an industry, it is not without its charlatans and is still tarnished by the bad old days of black hat upstarts propelling websites up the search rankings through the shadiest of methods.

Search engines have made it increasingly difficult for websites to cheat the system. Their complex set of rules and finely tuned algorithms ensure a far higher level of quality from any SERP (search engine results page). Modern-day SEO is all about adding quality through a series of multi-faceted processes; not simply spamming select pages full of white text or keywords. It can take time and exhaustive effort to make up a few places in the rankings.

Being able to unequivocally guarantee that you can get a website to the top of Google’s organic search results is a misnomer.  Of course, some terms will be easier than others. However, a sweeping statement that implies some inherent right to be at the top of the pile is nonsense. Google’s own search engine optimisation guidelines specifically mention the fact that no one can guarantee a top ranking.

Take this as an example:

A company goes to an SEO specialist who guarantees a top ranking for any of their terms. This company is a fruit wholesale exporter. Whilst the term ‘International fruit wholesale exporter’ and others related to it may be viable, what if that client also says they want to be number one for individual fruits too?

Banana? Possible but unlikely. Peach? Maybe. Apple or Orange? Good luck! Different websites have different expectations, but SEO companies should be doing more to recognise that some things just aren’t possible – let alone guaranteed. It doesn’t matter how good you are at targeting keywords, getting strong in-bound links or writing engaging copy, you will not be top spot for Apple or Orange; regardless of how hard you try.

The primary goal, as mentioned earlier in the post, should always be quality. If a website is fundamentally flawed – perhaps including an unusable navigation, containing insufficient pages or featuring a distinct lack of unique copy – then it won’t succeed, regardless of how much you pour into SEO. Due to the strength of modern search engines, there aren’t any side doors to success or golden tickets to the top; it’s a process that requires cooperation amongst webmasters, developers and SEO professionals.

At Koozai we don’t sell clients short, but we also don’t offer far-fetched promises.  As with any service provider, it is our job to do what’s best for our clients. This, though, does not involve setting unrealistic expectations or offering guarantees that cannot be supported. The search engines are responsible for how they present their search results any for any third party to be guaranteeing first place for a specific phrase, it is very much a case of “buyer beware”.

If you’re interested in improving your site’s search visibility and believe the adage “if it sounds too good to be true…”, then please request our SEO evaluation report which we’ll send without obligation or falsehoods.

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Lucy Griffiths
About the author

Lucy Griffiths

Lucy is an Internet Search Specialist focusing and working with clients on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategies.

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