Companies are sick and tired of salesmen selling dodgy search engine marketing (SEM) guarantees, like the snake oil elixirs of the old Wild West. Here are my take-outs from a recent ‘Breakfast with Google’ event I attended, where the topics of offering SEO & AdWords guarantees and other illicit practices were raised.
What’s Google’s policy on SEO performance guarantees?A great question, best answered by reading Google’s policy on ‘False, misleading, or unrealistic claims’. In summary, it’s forbidden for a Search Engine Marketing company to guarantee a top placement in Google’s search results.
- So why do some search marketing companies continue to guarantee top ranking results? I believe it is because they’re desperate for more business.
- How do these companies maintain top ranking positions for your website? The truth is they seldom do, they assume you’ll stop monitoring your search rankings. And when you complain your SEO guarantee is not being met, they spam your website with high risk backlinks to resurrect your rankings! As mentioned in a previous blog, spammy backlinks are like steroids; they give your site a false boost in the rankings, but ultimately destroy your domain.
- What’s the best practice alternative to an ‘SEO guarantee’? Appoint an SEO company that’s engaged in building your brand and its content online. And avoid companies that manage your SEO strategy through false guarantees and backlinking.
What about AdWords performance guarantees?It’s impossible to to guarantee a top ranking position in Google’s paid search results. Google uses a sophisticated system, called AdRank, to determine which ads get displayed in which position. While we understand the principles of how AdRank works, no search engine marketing company knows exactly how AdRank works, so they can’t guarantee a top ranking position.
What’s Google’s policy on backlinks?Any link that is not acquired naturally is considered SPAM. Note: this includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site. Click here to read Google’s full policy on link schemes. So why do so many SEO companies continue to push link-building as their primary SEO strategy? Because it’s easier to implement and higher margin than doing proper SEO.
Speed thrills and friction kills?Here are a few interesting statistics I noted from the event I attended:
- 40% of us leave a website if we can’t find what we’re looking for in 3 seconds
- we check our phones +150 times per day
- 62% of us use mobile search to find products and services