Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO
One of the first questions that prospects often ask during the sales process about our SEO services is, “So when can I be on the first page of Google?” While it seems like a fair question to ask an SEO firm, the response that we give is always the same. We cannot promise that kind of result from our efforts in any specific timeframe. Many potential clients aren’t happy with that answer. They want to know what the point is then and why it’s worth it to spend their money. While no honest or trustworthy SEO firm will guarantee specific results within a given timeframe, SEO is still worth the investment because it will certainly improve website visibility and traffic over time. There are too many variables when it comes to SEO that prevent us from making any promises.
Here are reasons why SEO results cannot be guaranteed:
Google says so
Really, this should be the only reason that you need to hear since it’s coming straight from the source. Google Webmaster Guidelines spells it out:
No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google.
Search algorithms are always changing
There are 200+ ranking signals in the Google algorithm and they are continuously being tweaked and altered. The algorithms are top secret and the only knowledge that we have is based on a lot of trial and error. This means that something that worked two weeks ago may not be working as well now and the ranking position of websites could be affected.
Within the last few years Google has really made an attempt to give users the information that is most relevant to their needs by personalizing search. If someone is logged into their Google account, they will see different search results than if they are not logged in. This is mostly due to search history and social signals. If the social connection of a Google user has recently shared content that pertains to a search, it’s more likely to appear prominently. Physical location is also a big factor when it comes to website ranking placement since Google assumes that you are looking for what’s as close to your location as possible.
Each website is unique
Most SEO firms work with clients from a variety of industries. What may work for one client isn’t guaranteed to work for another client. Maybe a firm was able to get a client to #1 fairly quickly. But maybe that client’s site had an old and trusted domain or was already doing really well with social media. You can’t compare one site to the next when it comes to SEO.
Stay away from any SEO firm that guarantees any kind of result. While it may be somewhat frustrating to accept if you are paying money, SEO results simply can’t be promised. The best you can do is remain white hat and see a gradual increase in visitors over an extended period of time. SEO isn’t a quick fix.