Why SEO’s can’t Guarantee Search Engine Rankings

Just like your wise grandparent used to say, “nothing in life is guaranteed” so why would business promises be any different? If we look to the late 2000s you can see a trend in SEO’s not meeting their ‘promises’ this created a lot of skepticism in the industry which haunts our current internet. Below are the top five reasons to question the used car salesmen promises and guarantees on your search engine optimization.

1.    History

Learning from the past is the best means to protect the future from repeating the same mistakes. The short history of the internet and SEO has provided a lot of stories that prove the lies. A good SEO company will never promise more, faster or better traffic because these tactics have been used and failed over time.

Learning from the past

A lot of companies will tell you their techniques assuming that you have no idea what they are or what the terms may mean. Google it. Google has grown from the schemes of the past and has developed rules and algorithms to protect consumers and promote ‘good’ quality internet.


“We Guarantee page 1 in less than a month”

Always question HOW?! If they offer you a method, Google it. See for yourself. SEOs can provide a lot of help and they are not all money grabbers. Look out for companies that are nationally or regionally recognized by OTHERS for their work. Promising results is a thing of the past, listen for their rankings among SEO competitors and verify everything for yourself.

2.    Lessons Learned

If we look at the previous history lesson, what policing force was implemented to protect businesses looking to break into the online market? Google Guidelines on Search Marketing was developed to warn business owners that no one can, “promise they can make you the number 1 search result”.

Google is constantly improving their service and protecting their name, they published these guidelines to explicitly state that good sites will rank well. In contrast poor sites that lack quality content and are looking for fast success will be found out and exiled to the desolation of back pages.

Any SEO that is still promising to make you number 1 has not done enough homework. You have done yours, and great SEOs know how to help you.

3.    The Panda & Penguin Evolution

Google has developed two constantly evolving algorithms that work together to monitor backlinks, content, anchor texts. These algorithms punish overly optimized websites and aim to promote pages that provide readers with good content.

Furthermore, the algorithms for search results also use geolocation, preference changes, and search history to refine their results. For example, you Google “plumbers” at home you will get a different result than Googling “plumbers” while you are on vacation. Sometimes you can hit refresh on your results and get a different set of results.

Any SEO that is meeting their clients expectations, know that sometimes optimization can not yield perfect results. Good companies will never promise you page 1 because they know the variety of factors responsible for creating Google result pages.

4.    Understanding the goal of SEO

SEO success is measured by traffic to your website not where your page is ranked in a page result. An increase in traffic increases your business, being on page 1 does not mean you will see an increase in business. Quick fixes for traffic can be detrimental to your site in the long run. An increase in keywords, H1 tags or any other simple optimizing technique done in excess will be a red flag for Google algorithms and you risk being penalized.

Great SEO companies will suggest a long-term traffic plan that is based on Google guidelines and their experience in the field. Always ask for an increase in traffic and do not settle for a promise of page 1.

5.    Unethical Empty Promises

When picking a favorite brand or a finding a reliable service results, reviews and experience all shape your opinion. A promise made and kept by a company shows the caliber of diligence and ability to provide results. If an SEO company is promising same day results, think about the possibility of that happening. Think about the longevity of that promise.

As you have read there are a lot of factors that impact a websites ability to increase traffic results. It not as easy as a guarantee of 30 minute or less for a warm pizza delivered to your door. If you break down the promise of the pizza place, you see that there are less outside factors. They control the creation, baking and delivery of the pizza. Whereas, and SEO can not promise guaranteed results because there are a lot of outside factors that come into the equation.

A guarantee is a definitive promise- in law a promise can create the assumption and foundation of a contract. Making promises outside your sphere of control, cheats this business assumption and further relegates SEO companies from good standing.  Making promises you know you can not keep is unethical and why SEOs can not continue this practice. SEOs should aim to create promises that reflect the lessons from the past to build a more reliable future.

Final Remarks

Guarantees are the back bones of all business deals. Vigilance and lessons from the past can help consumers and SEOs alike make better promises and promote better practices. Evolution of the internet is continuous and has taught some hard lessons. Our modern concept of free information online can help all of us reach our business goals.