We’ll put you at the #1 search ranking for your desired keyword — Guaranteed!

Your mother was right: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. SEOs who guarantee a top spot in the search rankings aren’t just liars: they have zero working knowledge of search engine optimization.

Don’t believe us? Take it from Google.

“No One Can Guarantee a #1 Ranking on Google”

Google’s Search Engine Optimization page is filled with warnings against less-than-honest SEOs. Here’s the skinny:

  1. As stated above, Google states NO ONE can guarantee a #1 Google ranking.
  2. Google maintains no special partnerships with any SEO firms. If anyone claims to have a special relationship with Google, they’re lying through their teeth.
  3. You are responsible for what your SEOs do. If they use black hat (misleading, faulty and downright dishonest) tactics, it’s your site that’ll be punished and removed from the Google index, not the SEO’s.
  4. The advertising section is entirely separate from the main search rankings. The SEO may promise to get you to the top of the page, but make sure you ask where on the page you’ll be. Some SEOs will promise search rankings and deliver paid advertisements instead.

SEO is a Process, not a Hard Science

It’s called search engine optimization for a reason. Search engine experts will optimize your site for the better: they’re making it easier for search engines (and thus, search engine users) to find, understand and process your site.

Giving your site an SEO makeover doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly jump to the top of the Google rankings — and there is no magical equation to make your site land in the #1 spot.

As SEOmoz reported, search rankings are so fluid that just one Tweet can cause your site to jump to the top of the SERPs. Inbound links, social shares, keywords, outbound links and bounce rates are just some of the highly variable factors that can affect your ranking.

Warning Signs of Scam SEOs

Internet scams aren’t only limited to weight loss pills and get-rich-quick schemes. There are plenty of sham SEO companies looking to take advantage of unsuspecting business owners — or worse, they’ll use black hat tactics and get your site banned. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • They contact you. If you get a random email from an SEO company offering all kinds of vague promises, delete that email and block that address.
  • They guarantee a specific result. Most SEO companies can guarantee progress, but no one will promise you a specified ranking.
  • Keyword stuffing. Modern SEOs know that keyword density is a thing of the past — and that it’s a surefire way to alarm Google of a potential spam site.
  • They’ve been banned from the Google index in the past.

Sorry, Folks: There Are No Guarantees

Empty promises aren’t going to move your site up in the rankings any higher. Instead, look for an online marketing company that is performance-based (meaning it bills on measured ROI instead of hours). You’ll be ensuring you’re getting a company confident enough in its services to bill based on its own performance.

If you do come across any scam SEOs, don’t stand idly by: take action and file a complaint with the FTC (for U.S. companies) or econsumer.gov (for non-U.S. companies).

Find out the state of your site’s SEO efforts with a free link audit from us. Only one day left to enter to win!