At best they are a marketing gimmick, at worst, they are a deliberate attempt to mislead unsuspecting business owners and do dodgy things to their site
This Week’s episode is about Rankings Guarantees. These are guarantees made by SEO companies to lure in and convert unsuspecting business owners. Most ethical SEOs, including Rank Fishkin, one of the most respected people in the SEO industry, agree that making ranking guarantees is wrong but there are still plenty of shady operators out there doing it and probably catching many small business owners unaware. It would be easy to think… “ranking guarantee… how can I lose?” In this episode I go into detail on why you should be very cautious about engaging someone who offers ranking guarantees.
In particular, I cover;
- An important part of an SEO’s job is education
- Why rankings are a bad success metric
- Manipulative SEO techniques – what are they and why you need to know, and approve, if your SEO is going to be using them
- The long tail of search – what is it and how ranking guarantees don’t align well with this important aspect of SEO
Links / mentions;
- My interview with George Koritsa (Episode 13) where we he mentioned that guarantees are a good marketing technique to differentiate yourself
- Rand Fishkin’s article on why reputable SEOs don’t offer ranking guarantees
- A page in the Google Webmaster Guidelines where they state “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google“
I’ve also just come across an article with some non ranking metrics you can track to measure success, which is an important topic that I left out of the podcast.