First Place Rankings

It’s impossible to guarantee a 1st place ranking or even a first page ranking. We already know that don’t we? I suspect that we don’t given the increasing search engine optimization company practice of making these claims. Something has occurred to me though, after reading so many of these claims on SEO websites. Its not that the industry is pushing a lie. To the contrary, most (at least the reputable companies) are making a bet that many unsophisticated clients expect. These SEO’s are wagering 2 things:

1. The client company needs to optimize for keywords that are localized or not terribly competitive. From my experience that would include 80-90% of the business websites I have worked on.

2. That their experience is a good indicator of future success. They have previously achieved top rankings for other clients. Now they plan to apply that same site optimization & linking template to the new client’s business. And of course they are confident that it will yield similar results. Most of the time the bet pays off for the search engine optimization company & the client. Its a good strategy if you are a growing SEO company that does deliver good results most of the time. For the companies that offer this sort of guarantee with clauses that allow them to welch on the bet, the strategy will only guarantee failure in the long run. For companies that have been in business for a while & know what they are doing, this strategy gets left behind. As these companies evolve they learn that a great client is not looking for this type of offer. A great client looks at your previous results, your proposal for them, overall strategy & how you engage them when they make the decision.

Case in point I received this email a few weeks ago, its a classic.


Guaranteed Top Listings in Google and Yahoo Today, a company needs a website to add validity and credibility! If your company has a website, but the site is not optimized for maximum exposure from the search engines, you could be missing out on well over 85% of your potential website traffic. Obviously, achieving High Search Engine Positioning for targeted keyword phrases is a vital part to improving your website conversions and increasing your audience………


I received this one the very same day.


Hi Mike, Can we talk on the phone sometime early next week? It’s easier for me than setting up a meeting in the office.

If I’m at work, it will be hard to give you my undivided attention. My business can get a little hectic. To be honest with you, I’m sort of fed up with SEO. It seems like pure luck to me at this point. I’ve got a lot of differing advice and I know you cannot ‘guarantee’ top placements.

I’d like to know what you think the odds are that you can get me to rank on the first page of my desired key words. I’m assuming you would get me to rank on all the major search engines including Google and Bing?


A perfect illustration of how sophisticated some SEO / SEM buyers are getting & how unsophisticated some service providers can still be. The Toronto SEO Group is a Toronto Ontario based SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Internet Marketing firm focused on search engine positioning, optimization, marketing & social media. We combine proven ‘whitehat’ techniques with solid keyword research.

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