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A Note of Warning about Companies Who ‘Guarantee This’ and ‘Guarantee That’

We guarantee you top 10 listings in Google, MSN and Yahoo! With a 100% money back guarantee if we do not succeed in the time agreed. Or you pay nothing until we get you top 10 listings in Google, MSN and Yahoo!
Does this kind of offer seem familiar to you? Have you been scammed by one of these offers before?
They sound so tempting, you pay nothing until you have a top 10 listing in the search engines, they sound too good to be true…they usually are.
Unfortunately in today’s market place it is too easy to fall victim to these ‘scammers’. Their offers appear to be from a reputable company with lots of glowing ‘references’ from ‘previous customers’. The offers have a ‘no win no fee’ catch line of guaranteed success.
Let’s say that 1% of these offers will be from companies who are so confident of their own abilities they can offer this kind of guarantee in the knowledge that there will only be a few companies who they will not succeed with, and have to pay the money back. However if they were so good at search engine optimisation surely they could change their marketing approach to attract large MNC and win multi-million pound contracts, not the small business who this offer appeals too.
So the other 99% are not being as truthful as their offer seems, where is the small print?
There are several techniques that these companies use to ‘con’ the customer out of their money.
The first technique these companies’ use is to optimise your website for an unpopular keyword that has very little competition. This keyword will therefore instantly be in the top 10 rankings in the search engines. However because the keyword is so unpopular it will wield no user searches and definitely no site conversions. Therefore giving you no return on the investment.
Another technique these companies use will be to not stipulate a difference between SEO and PPC, therefore leave you thinking you are getting an aggressive SEO campaign to put you in the top 10 listings whereas you are actually getting a very simple and potential expensive PPC campaign which immediately puts you in the search engines. This can wield a very poor return on investment.
A third technique used is to use ‘Black Hat SEO’ techniques. These are techniques that are banned by the search engines. When the search engines find out, the website and any other websites on a similar IP address will be banned from the search engines. The reason this technique would be used is because the banned techniques have better affect in the search engines, and can wield a quicker online presence, until the search engines realise and ‘sandbox’ the website. Techniques include gateway pages and hidden text.
All the above techniques will either have no ROI, expensive ROI or get you banned from the search engines for good.
The search engines DO NOT tell people what tools and techniques should be used to optimise a website to increase search engine rankings, therefore no one can 100% guarantee that they can optimise your website to appear in the top 10 of the search engines, even the greatest search engine optimisers refuse to guarantee search engine optimisation results.
So, if you chose to go down the route of ‘guaranteed success’ either be prepared to be spammed, be prepared to have to take the company to court, or make sure they are not going to use the techniques mentioned above.
The simple option however is to stay well clear of these scam artists, you have worked too long and too hard to waste your money on one bad decision. Always remember you generally get what you pay for in life.

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