Let’s put it simply – no one can guarantee you a top Google ranking. Because… they can’t control how Google ranks websites. Anyone that says they can guarantee a Google website ranking is either:
- Talking about listing you among the paid ads section
- Guaranteeing that you rank for either your company name or some obscure search term. This is easy and nothing to brag about
So let’s take a closer look. If you shmooze on to Google and search for something, you will be met with a screen that’s peppered with paid and free search results. Here’s how it looks:
Paid Listings – Google Adwords (Section A)
These are ads that businesses buy through Google to promote their products and services. Every time a user clicks on these ads, they are taken to a the website of the business owner. And the business owner pays Google for this transfer. This form of advertising is known as ‘pay per click’. It can cost the advertising business anything from 20 cents, right up to $50 and beyond (for insurance), depending on how competitve the industry is. This and similar advertising scores Google 97% of its revenues.
As a business, it can be expensive to play in this space especially if you in a high competition industry. But if you’re smart and generate positive ROI, adwords can be a good lead generator.
The order of ads in this section is determined by another Google algorithm. It’s based on the amount a business is willing to pay for their ad and the ‘quality score’ of their website. In this way good websites can effectively pay less to show ads than poor websites.
Organic Listings or Natural Search Listings (Section B)
Here are the natural unpaid search results. This is what your long term focus should be. Google uses algorithms to determine the quality of a site for a given search result. The higher your website quality ranking, the higher your ranking in this section. Naturally, if you’re a highly ranked website, you are put at a competitive advantage.
It usually takes some hard yards to convince Google that you have a quality website. And naturally, the more competition in an industry, the more difficult it is to compete.
Can You Rank Me Highly For This Search Term?
To rank highly in Google’s natural listings, Google must deem you an authority on your target search term. The more general the search term, the more difficult it will be to rank. E.g ‘Hairdresser Malvern’ is a lot easier to rank for than simply ‘Hairdresser’. When naming your website and your business, you should consider the best website name as that can assist your Google ranking.
Although Google’s exact ranking algorithm is a secret, the world’s internet marketing industry invests millions to test and retest ranking assumptions. They have found that the following things have a positive effect on your website ranking:
- The number of good quality websites that link to you
- Your website title and headings
- How old your content is
- How fast your website loads
- Social media mentions and clicks
Naturally, the above factors all require a bit of elbow grease to ensure success.
No Guaranteed Rankings. You Need a Good Foundation
No, you can’t guarantee Google rankings, but you can build your website so it has the best chance of success. For instance, my small business website design service understands the principles of search engine optimisation. I craft all my sites so they sing to Google’s latest tune. I’ve lay the strong foundations that the site owner can build upon to achieve website success.
Some other web designers either focus too much on design or text. Although these are important – they should always work in harmony with search engine optimisation and branding to ensure a positive user experience. After all – you can optimise your website to high water, but at the end of the day people aren’t going to buy from a site that looks like a dry turnip.
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Thank you for backing up my beliefs through this great article of yours. I agree with you 100% about everything you said. I interviewed a freelance SEO and he told me he could get my site to top 1 without a doubt. I asked him what his techniques are to be able to achieve what he was telling me. Well, my conclusion was it was just all a lie. He couldn’t guarantee that I get to the top in google.
No worries Dean. Yes. I see these ‘guaranteed’ ads on Facebook all the time. It makes me cringe.
I myself don’t believe in this guaranteed claims. I have been trying to figure out what the google’s exact algorithm but it has never been really that simple. I agree with your pointers above except one thing – “How fast your website loads”. I’m not sure about it though.
Hi Barry. Here’s an article which references Google’s decision to make page load speed a ranking factor – http://www.seomoz.org/blog/site-speed-are-you-fast-does-it-matter
David, the mystery of Google remains just that, and it’s a moving target. Your tips on increasing page rank are right on the money. And, yes, loading speed is a stated factor. As you suggest, it is easier to rank number one for an obscure search term. I can guarantee to rank someone for #1 IF I’m allowed to pick their search phrase. ComLuv wouldn’t take my link (something about JASN parsing), but if you check my site for an article called Their Shoes, it talks about how to rank for a specific “long-tail” keyword phrase. The trick is getting inside your readers’ minds well enough to guess an otherwise obscure phrase that they might use.
Cheers Astro, yes long tail is easier to target, assuming lower competition. Not sure about your CommentLuv query. I’ve seen that it’s working for other people?
With all due respect what a bunch of crap! I have and can most certainly guarantee someone 1st page rankings. Do I give them pie in the sky estimates like in 48 hours you will rank for “real estate” of course not! But if you have experience and rank sites over and over and over again on the first page you can reasonably assume you can do it again. Moreover if you have the kahunas to offer a guarantee then its your business isn’t it? If I am willing to put my skills on the line and offer a 100% money back guarantee that I can rank someone for search phrases based on previous experience then I will do just that and I am NOT scamming anyone!
I have executed six figure internet marketing campaigns and have ranked sites for “flower baskets” “gift basket delivery” etc… Yes it took time, a real budget and great people but of course it can be done, don’t be silly!
Hi Steve. Cheers for your passionate comment. Yes for sure if you have top notch experience you can certainly increase your chances of securing a top ranking. But you can never guarantee a top ranking. That’s because you do cannot control the factors that determine a site’s rank. It’s up to Google. And if you can’t control the environment you can’t make guarantees.
ok, so then please explain why our company always comes up number 1 in google paid advert, guaranteed 100 percent never fails…. look for yourself… type in google, keywords such us ..’business brokers’, ‘business brokers Melbourne’ and nothing else can take the first position… anytime any day no matter what…. please see for yourself and tell me your thoughts..
Hi LeePana, paid advertising is just that – you pay to be shown. I could create an ad in no time to outrank your paid ad. All I need to do is bid a higher amount. The majority of my article was discussing organic listings, which can’t be bought.
Yes, I truly agree on no one can guarantee Google 1st page rankings.
Only you can be on Top in Google Search Engine, if you follow Google Webmaster guidelines, and continue posting good content as compared to your Competitors.
However, to be in Section A, it is possible using Google’s Adwords Campaign.
Why do so many seo companies pretend it is impossible to guarantee a certain result. All it means is you stand behind your work and if you do not reach the agree result you get your money back. You do not have to own Google to offer a guarantee, you just need to stand behind your work. For example I stopped at McDonald’s this morning for a cup of coffee and they had a sign up say guaranteed fresh coffee, now does that mean it is impossible to get a bad cup of coffee… NO it just means that it you think the coffee is bad then you get you rmoney back.
Now for seo the same would apply, the seo company and client agree the goal is to get the client’s website into the top 3 positions on Google dot com for X keywords within x months. if the seo company fails to reach the agreed goal then the money is refunded. GEE now why is that so hard to understand.
It appears to me that most seo companies what to get paid regardless of how good they are and that is a very poor business model that is doomed to failure.
How can people say “no one can offer a guarantee? LOL that is just an idiotic comment…
YOU can’t offer a guarantee, because YOU don’t have the skills or knowledge. Now, a professional SEO who has been doing this for 20 years….? The fact is Google MAY change their policy at any point.
BUT THAT IS THE POINT OF THE GUARANTEE. It is on the SEO, not the customer. If the SEO wants to gain customers by putting his skills to test that is just a CONFIDENT SEO, and BY NO MEANS MAKES HIM A SCAM.. PLEASE, stop saying guarantees are a scam because that is just completely incorrect.
I never said “no one can offer a guarantee.” I said no one can guarantee Google ratings. A world of difference in meaning.
Perhaps, it’s better to say that there is no guarantee to rank in Google in just a few weeks since SEO starts. It usually takes a long time, but it’s definitely not impossible to rank.