Why SEOs not Guarantee results and why is it making sense?

Hiring an SEO service provider can be stressful. You may need to redesign the website, grow your social media audience, or increase leads and sales. Depending on your specific needs, the cost of SEO can range from hundreds to several thousands of dollars a month. For this amount of money, you’d expect to get a guarantee of some sort.

But that’s not the case. First, what does the word guarantee signify? It’s a promise or, at the most basic level, a contract that creates an assumption of certainty by the deliverer to the recipient.

So have you ever wondered why reputable SEO companies don't guarantee search engine rankings? They never use it as a marketing technique. In fact, they recommend staying away from firms that offer such “guarantees.”

Let’s take a closer look at the reasons behind this.

Reason #1: Learn from history

History has tainted SEO reputation. Since the mid-’90s, there have been scams linked to rankings and traffic. But considering the logistics behind SEO, no hard-working legitimate corporation can and has offered this guarantee. As for those companies that are promising number one rankings, they have created a cheat method of increasing traffic. Many have cleverly researched and chosen several low competition keywords and phrases that have a high success rate with the least amount of work. But whether these keywords or phrases really benefit the rankings or traffic is another matter altogether.

To make it easier to understand, consider the following scenario. A used car dealer employs high-pressure salespeople. A sensible customer will steer clear of their stereotyped marketing claims. That’s why a legitimate business avoids them at all costs. Similarly, a reputable SEO company is not going to become a fast-talking businessman by guaranteeing results in a short amount of time.

Reason #2: clear warnings against guarantees

Guidelines set by Google are very clear concerning SEO. And since there are several queries on SEO guarantees, it’s quite clear that no one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. This is because even advertising with Google won't have any effect on your site's presence in its search results.

Beware of any company claiming a relationship with the famous search engine, even if it’s applied in a contextual sense. Google never accepts money from any website to include or rank it. In fact, it costs nothing to appear in their organic search results.

Reason #3: rankings are always unpredictable

As you will agree, performing searches from different locations at times generates varying results as well as a change in results order. You may also have experienced receiving disparate outcomes. This happens when you utilize various individual Google accounts, unrelated datacenters, rearrange words or phrases, or even hit refresh on a query. Hence, it’s safe to state that rankings and results are unstable. There is no guarantee what the ranking will be on a given machine at a single point in time. The fact of the matter is that if the current rankings are so unpredictable, what can be said about the future? Your guess is as good as mine.

Reason #4: ranking is a poor metric for success

In order to gauge the success of the SEO campaign, you need to measure the change in search engine traffic – not the rankings. Even though these two factors are correlated, you need to understand why website traffic is a measure of determining web success. With increased traffic, there is a higher potential for leads, conversions and, obviously, better business. High rankings may not necessarily yield high traffic. The reason could be because:

  • The website ranking is for keywords that people from a different target audience are searching
  • People are finding information without clicking on your website. Other sections of the Search Engine Results Pages like Google My Business or Maps sections may be providing the necessary information.
  • Most clicks typically go to the first few listings in the SERPs (usually the top 3).

But even so, traffic alone is pretty much worthless unless it is supported by other techniques such as conversion optimization strategy. This is the rate at which traffic actually performs the intended actions on your website, like making a purchase or submitting a form. It becomes useful only when the visit turns into a lead.

So even though it feels wonderful to brag about incredibly good rankings, it may be short-lived. The undeniable aspect of a great business model is an impressive website content and service. Interested visitors that land on your website feel that you’ve expressed a desire to fulfill their needs and resolve their problems.

While having said all this, it’s true that you’ll get the most traffic if you’re at the top of the list. But if your campaign is obsessed with simply rankings, it may be sabotaged with short term achievements. If the traffic to your website increases, this means that the SEO service provider is doing its job well.

Reason #5: you cannot control rankings

Making guarantees about something that can’t be controlled carries inherent risks. A company shouldn’t fall into the trap of someone who makes promises it can’t possibly deliver. Search Engine Optimization is part art and part science. So no one can really understand what is required to rank number 1 for a certain term. That’s because Google's algorithms are too obscure for anyone to make that specific guarantee.

What an SEO should and can guarantee

An SEO company can and should guarantee that it will give the best advice possible. The objective is to divert more traffic to your website. This will increase sales and revenue. If the firm carries out an in-depth audit, it may even predict the percentage growth of your business. However, understand that the SEO company cannot control the search results. Search engines alone are in control and aware of the methodology behind rankings. Therefore a reliable SEO company cannot provide a guarantee and put its reputation on the line. They can only ensure that their team will concentrate on implementing legit techniques. They can make sure that search engines don't incur penalties due to unsafe practices. And above all, they make certain that you are happy with the results.