Guaranteed front page Google positions – when is a guarantee not a guarantee?

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one (Photo credit: andrechinn)

The word GUARANTEE is one of the most powerful words used in marketing and sales. The idea generated by the word is that a customer or client will absolutely receive or achieve something as a result of the product or service.

In the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) business, many potential clients are offered such guarantees. The most common guarantee is that the SEO company can provide the client with hitting the ‘Guaranteed Front Page of Google’. Businesses that attain these positions on Google will often take the Lion’s share of business, so of course, all businesses want to grab and keep those positions.

This leads to SEO companies making grandiose claims about how they can help your company to achieve those positions.

However, let’s make something abundantly clear from the start.

No one can guarantee you the Number ONE ranking position on Google.

You should be wary of any SEO company that claims they can provide you with the coveted #1 spot on Google. You should be especially cautious of anyone that contends that they have a relationship with Google or can get priority treatment by Google for your submission to the rankings. No one gets priority.

Google themselves say: “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google.”

When you’re offered a guarantee, it usually comes in one of the following guises:

ONE: GUARANTEED Front Page on Google – the offer is usually a way that less than scrupulous companies offer a flat fee for Google AdWords. After huge set up fees, that only gives you Google coverage for a couple of months, you’ll find you could have done it all yourself cheaper. If you need AdWords, use them but don’t fall for a false guarantee.

TWO: Guaranteed Front Page Google Listings – Sounds great, but they don’t specify a search term. Out of the key words and phrases that you want to be front page on Google for, you’ll find you’re guaranteed front page for ‘Blue Widgets with Red Dots in North East Clacton’. No one searches for that, but the guarantee has been fulfilled and you’ll never see your money again.

THREE: Guarantee Front Page Google List Or Your Money Back – Sounds good, but try getting your money back when you don’t see your site on the front page! The company will send you a screenshot proving your site held the front page Google listing but in reality it was for one day and never happened again.

FOUR: Replacement Traffic Guarantee – ‘If we don’t get you a front page Google position, then we’ll buy enough AdWords for you to get the level of traffic you need.’ Sounds tempting but why not just buy AdWords yourself? If their service can’t provide what you need, why would you want them to use Adwords to do it? Even with Google AdWords, no one can guarantee the traffic you will receive. The SEO company needs to make money, but the traffic they’ll send you through AdWords will most likely be less than you could have gotten yourself for less money!

FIVE: Google Front Page Or No Charge – this could very well be tantamount to a scam because this company could well use every black hat (dodgy, underhanded, unacceptable to Google) trick in the book in order to get you to the Front Page. In the end, Google will punish your site, and the damage is done. They will charge huge monthly fees if they do get you listed (albeit briefly) and try to tie you in for as long as possible.

The moral of the tale? Read the small print, make sure you know exactly WHAT is being guaranteed, and above all; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

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Guaranteed Google Listings – why you shouldn't believe the hype!

liarI know, I know, I’ve posted about this before – but it rears its ugly head all the time and it really really bugs me.

This time someone on a forum I participate in tells how they received a sales call from a company purporting to be called ‘Chrome’, who are allegedly a ‘subsidiary of Google’ and can offer GUARANTEED front page Google listings for a tiny amount per month (about £125, small money for the business he’s in). Apparently this is a ‘one off offer’ and ‘only being offered to one company’.

Luckily the person receiving the call knows a bit about online marketing and realised this was rubbish. Even more so when he asked them to email him the info and they refused, saying that they couldn’t email info as it was only open to one person and they didn’t want lots of info going to different people.

O-K….. so let’s look through this properly here:

  • False claim number 1: “We’re a subsidiary of Google called Chrome”

    Google themselves say in their Webmaster Help: “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google.

    Also, Chrome is the name of the Google browser – I’d say these people are counting on reaching website owners who know Chrome is ‘something to do with Google’ and will fall for their ‘subsdiary’ tactics.

  • False claim number 2: “We offer GUARANTEED front page Google listings”

    A couple of things here really. I covered a lot of the ways in which a guarantee can be made but not quite true in my “When Is A Guarantee Not A Guarantee”:http://www.nikkipilkington.com/internet-marketing-articles/when-is-a-guarantee-not-a-guarantee-nikkipilkingtoncom-internet-marketing-expert-uk article, but Google, as always, get the last word on this one:”

    No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google

    There you have it – from the horse’s mouth.

  • Dubious claim number 1: “We can’t email you info, you have to buy on the phone as this is only offered to one person”

    What sort of a company selling Internet advertising of any kind (and there are many reputable ones out there) would refuse to email information over and insist you buy on the phone without looking into their company? One that has something to hide, maybe?

I could go on, but I’m conscious that all I’ve done recently on this blog is have a moan – there’s plenty to smile about in the SEO and Online Marketing world, so maybe I should lighten up a bit 🙂

I’ll leave it to you the reader to have a look through the rest of the comments Google themselves make about choosing your SEO expert. Just be aware when you’re on the end of a phone call guaranteeing anything and alleging a special relationship with Google, all isn’t necessarily as it seems…

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