Guaranteed SEO Services: Why You Should Avoid Them?

Guaranteed SEO Services


You've likely encountered various enticing offers during your search for an SEO professional—whether a freelancer, an agency, or in-house. Some common promises include:


  • Rank #1 for your target keyword within 30 days or get a full refund
  • Double your website traffic within 6 months
  • Guaranteed 50% increase in organic search traffic within 12 months


These offers might seem appealing, but they are the biggest red flags in SEO. Guaranteed SEO services often promise quick results that can be too good to be true. Understanding why these promises are problematic is important for making informed decisions about your SEO strategy.


Can SEO Results Be Guaranteed?


The simple answer is no. SEO is a complex and ever-changing field influenced by numerous factors, many of which are beyond the control of any individual or agency.

SEO Gigs


When an SEO service provider says that you will be placed at the top of SERPs, they are making a promise that is nearly impossible to keep. In fact, search engines like Google are not fans of guaranteed SEO services, and they advise businesses to avoid such providers as it can lead to penalties or, worse, complete deindexing in search results.


Search engines like Google use sophisticated algorithms that consider hundreds of ranking factors.


These algorithms are frequently updated to improve search quality, so tactics that work today might not work tomorrow. If you look at the Google Search Status Dashboard, there are 10 major algorithm updates in 2023 alone, not to mention that there are minor updates that Google doesn't announce publicly.

2023 Google Major Updates List


Another critical factor to consider is the competition. Your website is not operating in a vacuum; it competes against countless other sites, some of which may have substantial resources and established SEO strategies.


Market conditions can shift, and new competitors can emerge, making it challenging to predict SEO outcomes accurately.


Moreover, SEO success depends on the quality of your website’s content, user experience, and backlink profile, among other factors. High-quality content that meets searchers' intent is important for ranking well, and it requires continuous effort in content creation, optimisation, and link-building.

Why You Should Avoid Guaranteed SEO Services


Lack of Transparency


Guaranteed SEO services often lack transparency in their methods and strategies. These services may use vague language or refuse to disclose their tactics, which can be a sign of unethical practices.

Without clear communication, clients are left in the dark about the specific actions being taken on their behalf and it would be difficult for businesses to understand the true value of the services they are paying for.


High Risk of Black Hat Techniques


To deliver on unrealistic guarantees, some providers resort to black hat SEO techniques.


Tactics include:


  • Keyword stuffing
  • Keyword cloaking
  • Purchasing low-quality backlinks from link farms
  • Link Exchange


While these methods might produce short-term gains, they violate search engine guidelines and can lead to severe penalties.

Unnatural Links Penalty Google Search Console


A penalty can result in significant drops in rankings or even complete removal from search results. Recovering from such penalties can be a long and costly process, and sometimes, your website may not be able to recover anymore, often negating any initial benefits gained from these unethical tactics.


Focus on Short-Term Gains


Guaranteed SEO services tend to focus on short-term results rather than sustainable growth.


Short term vs long term SEO goals


Short-term gains often come at the expense of building a strong, lasting online presence. Websites with a long-term SEO strategy see more consistent growth in organic traffic over time.


Guaranteed SEO services neglect the importance of creating high-quality content, improving user experience, and earning authoritative backlinks—all of which are important for sustained success.


One-Size-Fits-All Approach


Many guaranteed SEO services offer standardised packages that do not account for the unique needs of each website.


SEO is not a one-size-fits-all discipline; it requires a customised approach tailored to the specific goals, industry, and current state of a website.


A generic strategy may overlook important aspects such as target audience, competition, and technical SEO issues.

Not all providers do the same. Let’s compare a white-hat SEO company and a Guaranteed SEO provider.


White Hat SEO vs. Guaranteed SEO


Guaranteed SEO services tend to be productised packages that promise specific outcomes within a set timeframe. These packages are often rigid, offering little flexibility to adapt to the unique needs of each client.


For instance, a local business might require a different SEO strategy compared to an e-commerce site, but a productised package might not address these distinctions.


In contrast, white hat SEO is personalised and tailored to the goals and current status of the website.


White hat SEO practitioners conduct thorough audits to understand the unique challenges and opportunities of each site. They develop customised strategies that focus on sustainable growth through ethical practices, such as high-quality content creation, on-page optimisation, and legitimate link-building efforts.


White hat SEO service providers that use a tailored approach to their strategies see higher engagement and conversion rates.


By focusing on the specific needs and goals of a website, white hat SEO will make sure that strategies are relevant and effective.


Potential for Misleading Metrics


Guaranteed SEO services often rely on misleading metrics to demonstrate success. Clicks aren’t everything. At the end of the day, leads are what matter the most. It's not just about driving traffic to your website; it's about attracting the right kind of traffic that converts into leads and sales.


Additionally, some SEO providers may use bots or software to generate fake traffic, merely to inflate their reporting metrics. This tactic not only provides misleading data but can also harm your website's credibility and performance.


Another misleading metric to watch out for is the number of backlinks. In SEO, the quality of backlinks is far more important than their quantity.


If your SEO service provider focuses solely on the number of backlinks without discussing the quality or relevance of each one, it’s a red flag. High-quality backlinks come from reputable, relevant sites and can significantly boost your rankings, whereas low-quality backlinks can harm your site’s credibility and lead to penalties.


A detailed analysis of each backlink is important to make sure that they contribute positively to your SEO strategy.


Metrics should be tied to actual business goals, such as increased organic traffic, higher conversion rates, and improved user engagement. Guaranteed services that emphasise irrelevant metrics can create a false sense of achievement while failing to contribute to real business growth.


Lack of Ongoing Support and Adaptation


SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring, analysis, and adjustment. Guaranteed SEO services often do not provide the necessary ongoing support and adaptation to keep up with changes in search engine algorithms and market conditions.


An effective SEO strategy needs regular updates and refinements based on performance data and evolving industry trends.


If you are a business owner, you won’t risk falling behind your competitors and losing your hard-earned rankings and traffic.


Frequently Asked Questions


How Long Should You Wait to Rank on Google or See SEO Results?


The timeframe for seeing SEO results can vary significantly based on several factors, including the competitiveness of your industry, the current state of your website, and the strategies employed.


According to the recent guide we published about how long does SEO take to work, it typically takes anywhere from a few weeks to several years. SEO is a long-term investment, and achieving substantial results often requires a sustained effort over 12 months or more.


The timeline can also depend on the quality of content, backlink profile, and technical SEO health of your site. For new websites, the process might take longer as they build authority and trust with search engines. Established websites with a solid foundation might see quicker improvements but still require ongoing optimisation. Patience and consistent effort are key to successful SEO outcomes.


How to Choose an SEO Agency?


Firstly, assess your specific SEO needs. Different businesses require different SEO strategies.


For instance, a local shop would benefit most from Local SEO, which helps businesses appear in local search results. Conversely, B2B companies might focus on more specific, technical keywords relevant to their industry. E-commerce sites require a strategy that enhances product visibility and improves site navigation, while large enterprises need an approach that handles the complexity of big websites.


Secondly, familiarise yourself with SEO basics before engaging with an agency.


A basic understanding of core services like keyword research, content creation, on-page and off-page SEO, technical SEO, and analytics can help you make informed decisions and avoid being overwhelmed by jargon. Knowing what to expect will make sure that you can evaluate the agency's proposals critically.


Finally, research potential SEO agencies thoroughly. Look for a strong reputation, clear communication, and a customised approach. A reputable agency should provide case studies showcasing its success and be transparent about its strategies and pricing.


For more detailed guidance, you can read our comprehensive blog posts on how to choose an SEO agency.


How Much Does SEO Cost?


The cost of SEO services can vary widely based on the scope of work, the competitiveness of your industry, and the agency’s expertise.


In Australia, the price for SEO services typically ranges from AUD $1,500 to over $10,000 per month, depending on the size of the business and the scope of services required.


When evaluating the cost of SEO, it’s important to consider the value and return on investment (ROI) it can provide. Quality SEO services can drive significant organic traffic, improve conversion rates, and enhance your online presence, leading to long-term business growth.


Be wary of agencies offering unusually low prices, as this might indicate the use of black hat techniques or a lack of comprehensive service.


For a more detailed breakdown of SEO costs and what to expect, read our article on how much does SEO cost in Australia.


Download our free SEO audit template or book a consultation with our experts. We'll guide you toward a strong and ethical SEO strategy that matches your business goals.