Why No One Can Guarantee You First Place On Google

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Monica Lorica

MONICA LORICA Digital Research Lead

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The one thing you get in abundance on search engines is choice. Luxurious and frustrating, seemingly in equal measure, Google is meticulously designed to be a highly effective information, research and buying portal for its users. To filter that choice of sellers and determine trustworthy websites, you are going to be juggling a plethora of different product and service factors. So, for buyers, what could be more enticing and offer more security than a guarantee?

In most commercial situations, a guarantee is a sign of quality and the vendors’ confidence in what they are selling. But in the world of SEO, the traditional guarantee of ‘top of Google’ is the first warning sign that you could be dealing with incompetent amateurs who are about to steal your time and money.

In short, any individual or company that guarantees they can get you to the top of page one Google through professional SEO is either lying, deluded, unskilled or, if you are really unlucky, all three.

Here’s why you should steer clear

In principle, the internet is heaven for marketers. Although it has only been with us for just over 25 years, it has revolutionised the way we communicate, attract customers to our products, sell, engage and facilitate loyalty. At the beginning of the 21st century it may have seemed like a luxury for companies to have a website, but now, just 15 years later, an internet presence is an absolute must.

Getting seen on SERPs is like having your own shopfront on the main street in hyperspace. The problem is, this street is crowded with millions of other sellers, mostly your competition. To get your customers through the door, you need a huge neon sign that says you meet searchers’ needs better than anyone else: on the internet, that neon sign is the same as sitting on top of page one of Google. Typically, effective SEO marketing is needed to achieve this.

Statistics show that getting your website to those top few spots on Google is essential. The table below shows average traffic share in relation to position reached on page 1 of Google:

Google Result Page Rank Average Traffic Share

1

32.5

2

17.6

3

11.4

8

3.1

9

2.6

10

2.4

source: Chitika Online Advertising Network

Since the internet began, there have been SEO consultants whose sole purpose has been to get you to page one of Google. The ability of an SEO specialist to fulfil this goal is not in doubt, what they cannot do is guarantee it. As you will see, the relevance – buyer intent and popularity – of the keyword on top of page one must also be considered carefully. It may have no positive effect at all.

Why a guarantee may symbolise bad practice

A professional SEO specialist is using the tools and techniques of optimisation to further your company’s goals and objectives. They should marry knowledge of both, to form key phrases that are unique to a company’s needs to increase traffic for maximum lead generation, sales and brand awareness. Just getting to the top of page one with ‘a keyword or phrase’ is not enough, there has to be a systematic increase of targeted traffic that will convert.

Unethical SEO specialists who guarantee page one results sometimes use keywords or key phrases that are easy to attain. They are easy to attain because your direct competition is not using them – and in most cases this is because your target market does not use them to find your product. In other words, you are far away from the hyperspace main street for your product. So, it is highly likely that it will not attract your true target market that will eventually convert. But, it is through this ‘mock keyword’ that the shady SEO specialist evidences his or her guarantee.

An emphasis on ranking alone suggests a company is not looking at the dynamic and rich analytical techniques available to streamline your company’s presence on the internet. Of course top of page one will increase traffic to some extent, but are they taking your company’s goals into account to facilitate a customised and effective campaign?

A vague knowledge of the internet has led to mythical goals

One of the problems for consumers approaching SEO specialists is their lack of understanding of the complex arena of internet marketing. Subsequently, they focus on fundamental and simple goals that are, in reality, just the tip of the iceberg – a small part of a more dynamic and skilled process. As outlined above, being top of Google for the right terms is good in itself, but it is the means to an end – not the end result itself.

Complex algorithms do not allow for a single placement

Advanced technology and algorithms have brought ever smarter processes for searching on the internet and made the continuity of page ordering much more unpredictable. For instance, Google will hone in on your locality and so ‘top of page one’ 20 miles down the road could be totally different from your own page one findings at home. As well as different search engines offering different ordering of search results, we now have a plethora of devices to choose from which add another variable to the mix.

Established sites are still favoured

It is also a known fact that established websites on page one of Google are hard to budge. Google prefers sites that have long-term credibility. This makes the task of optimising a new website even tougher. The SEO specialist does not have the data to determine how Google will respond to businesses at the top spot – so how can they guarantee you can take their position?

What an SEO specialist should be doing

It is a pity that a minority of shady practitioners who lurk on the internet taint the name of the SEO profession. There is no doubt that SEO is very much alive and kicking and still a much-needed and effective service for promoting businesses on the internet. Finding the right specialist for your company’s needs has never been easy, but prospective clients can start by understanding the true meaning of ‘top of Google’ and steering well clear of anyone who guarantees they can get them there.

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Monica Lorica

MONICA LORICA Digital Research Lead

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With a strong understanding of digital research trends and tools, Monica is an expert in qualitative and quantitative research for campaign development. One part research geek, one part super-Mum!