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Guaranteed Top Ranking

Why so sure?

     
7:47 am on Sep 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Can a SEO Company boldly claim Guaranted TOP Ranking in Google? What could be the reason of being so sure of this "guaranted top ranking"?

Is there any SEO process we don't know about or is this only high-pitched marketing? (I think the second but may be I don't know if there are any certain methods...)

Is it safe to hire these people for site optimization?

Want opinions.

7:55 am on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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No, no & no.
7:59 am on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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sure they can guarantee you #1 for a "keyword", however probably not the keyword you want though :)

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.......

Shak

8:02 am on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I probably would not hire them.

But depending on the search term it might be very easy to get a first page position and so a company might be 99% confident.

I remember such a company that would guarantee positions for certain keywords, sure you got the rankings, but the was no traffic for those terms.

<added>
Beat me to it Shak :)
</added>

8:06 am on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You sure they mean the serps :-)?

There is Google adwords dont forget, it may be a "misleading piece of sales speak".

8:06 am on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Nobody can guarantee anything with SE's in the same way you can not guarantee a 50% return on the Stock Exchange, too many variables out of the SEO's hands.
9:01 am on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm in 2 minds about the "guarantee" issue - if I buy a TV set I can spend an extra £xx on a "guarantee" that it won't break down within the first 3 years.

This "guarantee" isn't actually a statement of fact that the TV set won't break down within those 3 years, what it's actually offering is a fallback in the eventuality of the set breaking down, such as a replacement or repair.

So when an SEO company offers a "guarantee" that you'll get 1st page listings on Google, I can see it being able to be treated the same way as a TV set "guarantee" - eg "Top Ten ranking on Google within 3 months or your money back" etc.

4:26 pm on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"Top Ten ranking on Google within 3 months or your money back" etc.

...and in the fine print:

Not responsible for and no refunds given if our SEO tactics get your domain banned after 90 days; hey, we got you your top listing, didn't we?

7:29 pm on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've come across SEO agencies that recommend this.

Look out for them carrying out searches in "brackets" - this confines the search even more than a 'normal' open search.

Also, they may state that 'we will give you 20 top 10's' or something. They will then send you a report with yourcompanyname No.1 in Google, and "yourcompany" No.2 in AV, and yourcompany.com No.1 in Inktomi, etc...etc...blah..... Not one listing will be a keyphrase that you really wanted, just variations on your name and site url.

There's a fe SEO consultancy directories online and that Buyers Guide to SEO Agencies book from MarketingSherpa that you can check out.

[edited by: agerhart at 7:30 pm (utc) on Sep. 11, 2003]
[edit reason] removed inappropriate words [/edit]

7:36 pm on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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high-pitched marketing

Bordering on complete BS... I'm sure they could get you top ranking on "widget green widget with badger power widget", but then, so could my granny... I'd go for a company which explains how they will give you a n increase in targeted traffic - which is more important than keeping score on keywords.

8:08 pm on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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yeah, that's the other scam, going for extra long keyphrases.
6:01 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There is a difference between giving a guarantee for a certain position and giving a money back gurantee if you don't reah certain goals. The last is ok and seen in many businesses. The first is a pure scam when it comes to SEO.

However, I haven't actually seen one "honest" pay-for-ranking seo-service yet. They all have fine print that devalue the gurantee with loose keyword definitions, obscure engines and lack of proof of consistent top-results.

Personally I would not recommend anyone to use a pay-for-ranking model for SEO.

6:09 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There is a difference between giving a guarantee for a certain position and giving a money back gurantee if you don't reah certain goals. The last is ok and seen in many businesses

I completely agree. When I worked for a SEO company, we offered the same goal-based guarantees.

6:49 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If the SO is dishonest they can guarantee #1 rankings for any KW in Google, Yahoo!... and a few others.

Sponsored links for Google
Overture for Yahoo!

I've seen it done before

7:26 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If they know what they are doing they can guarantee #1 but they can't guarantee how long it will take. You can be number one if you want it bad enough in time with a lot of work. I just started in april and I am getting higher every month. I have one keyword that is worth millions to me and other lawyers and I am on the first page finaly. I started out number 76. Another month and I will be in the top 5. I have no doubt I will get number one someday. It's actualy not that hard. Google is very predictable right now.
7:26 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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A money back guarantee has an inducement many customers cannot resist, and so when it comes down to it, many companies are happy to pay.
7:38 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There is Google adwords dont forget, it may be a "misleading piece of sales speak

That's precisely it. We get exactly the same cold calls from SEOs in the UK almost every day. The really annoying part is that they don't know a search engine from a car engine. Ask them why their own site doesn't come up in the 1st page of SERPS for "Search Engine Optimisation" (or keywords they are using on their home page). Then sit back and be amused at the variety of excuses they come up with.

Money back guarantee is worthless if they get you listing in Adwords... or a listing for a keyphrase as long as War and Peace.

8:35 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I run a top 10 "search engine optimisation" company.

I offer a 'no results no fee' based pricing model, and focus primarily on top 10 positions across Google-powered engines. Clients seem pretty happy with this - it is a self-guaranteed approach.

I allow clients to choose their own search terms, and I base my pricing on levels of competition per phrase. The more competition per phrase, the less likelihood of achieving the target result.

Before going ahead, I provide my clients with an overview of success rates for levels of competition. In general any phrase with fewer than 300,000 competitors is usually achieved.

9:34 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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300,000 competitors

you mean 300k results?

9:44 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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One of my main problems with any pay-for-ranking model today is, that I do not think you can accurately enough meassure rank. Search engines rotate top-results, connect different users to different versions of indexes, apply personalized and regional filtering etc. So for who, where and when should a rank be recorded? And how do you prove it to the client?

Another problem, in my personal oppinion, is that rank it itself have no real (or very little) value. At least, I want someone to see my listing and preferably I want someone targeted to my products to click it. I want actions on my site.

10:05 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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you mean 300k results?

Yes, exactly.

I want actions on my site

Aside from advising you on intrinsically purchase-oriented phrases, this is outside the remit of SEO. Usually best to use the services of a good SEO firm alongside traditional online marketing (from a separate firm). Rarely do you find companies that are great at both.

10:24 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, but I don't agree. Marketing is about driving qualified leads and sales - that goes for SEO too. I do not just want impressive rankings I can show my boss I also want some relevant users actually searching for that keyword at search engines that proof to convert visitors.

In my oppinion SEO is not just about gaining rankings - even if they could be meassured. It's not even just about driving traffic. Its about driving qualified traffic that can convert into leads and sales (or whatever action is your goal).

11:43 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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'Online Marketing' is a broader term which could encompass SEO, but this does not work the other way round, i.e. SEO is a type of online marketing, but online marketing is not a type of SEO.

SEO is just one small part of the wider online marketing picture, and deals with achieving better search engine rankings. Whether this converts to sales at the end of the day is not within the remit of SEO, by definition.

11:48 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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That is true. It is not real hard to get to the top it is hard to get to the top and have a site that sells well at the same time.
11:56 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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at the end of the day depends on your keywords.

DaveN

1:42 am on Sept 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Some sites need to be #1 for some phrases or keywords without any doubt - like the ones that turn up for the G queries "windows", "burger", "president" and "cola". Most other sites will do just as good (in terms of bottom line or whatever their success criteria are) by being #2,3,4,5 or even in top 10 or lower - it depends on what level they come from and a whole lot of other things.

Of course you should not go about promising #1 positions to any and all. That's ridiculous. What you need to be able to promise in all cases, is improvement. If a site comes from #500, even a #100 position is a significant leap forward.

/claus

4:41 am on Sept 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There are some areas that 3rd page is still good. When I was looking for live help desk software I wanted to see every possible program so I could compare. I went several pages into Google to find them. Funny thing is somebody else found me the program I chose. I don't know how they found it becasue the site was not optamized at all. Sometimes a good site and a good product will do well in 10th place. You would be suprised how much a good product and good service will help.
3:14 pm on Sept 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Interesting debate here. The way I see it, SEO is definitely one (small but important) part of online marketing. But for me, SEO should not stop at rankings, or even acquisition (click-thrus).

Thorough keyword research and an appreciation of the client's products and target audience are needed to get the right kind of click-thrus. Higher quality click-thrus mean a better ROI, which is the bottom line for the client.

Optimisers seem to fall into two categories - Rankers and Marketers. Rankers tend to be techies with little or no marketing background, while the marketers are marketing people with technical knowledge.

I'm glad to say I'm in the latter group :-)

11:34 am on Sept 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>> Rankers and Marketers

If we follow the distinction that SEO is a sub-discipline of web-marketing and we further state that web-marketing is a sub-discipline of overall web-design, then SEO will only be needed in the cases where either of the two higher level disciplines fail to do their work well enough. That's an interesting thought.

/claus

3:47 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hello All,

I Have a company and ive been searching ways of how to get listen in google for very competitive keywords. I know this keyword is very hard.. and i wanted to know if any of you know where i could turn to ..in order to achieve any good rankings for these really competitive keywords. Are there any companies that offer this?,

[edited by: agerhart at 4:16 pm (utc) on Oct. 30, 2003]
[edit reason] removed specifics [/edit]

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