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    Guaranteed SEO Results? Here’s Why They’re A Scam

    Has your SEO provider lured you with amazing pledges? Top rankings and climbing traffic – sounds like a digital marketing fantasy, doesn’t it? Here’s your reality check to determine if the promises they are making are empty ones.

    Published on August 30, 2023

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    By Emily Bodman
    Content Marketing Specialist

    Published on August 30, 2023

    Has your SEO provider promised remarkable results? An increase in search rankings! A guaranteed top placement on Google! An impressive boost in traffic! Seems too good to be true, right?

    That’s because it is.   

    These promises are impossible to make… or keep.  

    If you’re expecting big things, you might need to adjust your expectations. There are no guarantees in SEO. There’s just a wealth of best practices, old and new strategies, and an ongoing battle to stay ahead of Google’s latest changes.   

    We understand that you want results fast, but good SEO takes time. And great SEO is well worth the wait. A reputable SEO agency understands what’s involved in maintaining a healthy position in search. We set targets, and with hard work and continuity, we achieve them 

    Guaranteed SEO is a myth, and we’re here to call out the common claims and promises. While we’re at it, we’ll explain what you can expect from a reputable SEO company.   

    What Are Guaranteed SEO Results?

    There is no way to predetermine SEO results, but it doesn’t stop some companies from making hefty claims.   

    “Get An XXX% Increase In Traffic In X Days!”  

    “Reach Page 1 Of Google In X days!”  

    “100% Guaranteed Results!”  

    Unless they have a crystal ball, SEO companies cannot predict when you’ll see results.   

    SEO companies that guarantee results want your business. We get it. But a bump to the first page doesn’t happen in ‘days’. Making these claims are simply an attempt to hook you in. It’s also a warning sign that the agency is prepared to use black-hat SEO tactics. Black hat SEO manipulates Google’s algorithms to improve SEO rankings fast.   

    You don’t want this. And Google doesn’t want to see you doing this.   

    A reputable SEO company will audit your website before creating a custom, fail-proof strategy. This alone can take a couple of weeks. It’s a huge red flag if the company you’ve signed up with skips this step. After all, how do you know where you’re going if you don’t have a plan?  

    A shield leans against a money bag that sits next to a replica of a bank.

    Should I Trust Money-Back Guarantee SEO? 

    No results, no payments. Sounds pretty good, right?  

    Well, it would be if it wasn’t peppered with fine print.   

    An SEO company that promises this relies on the naivety of its clients. You might see results within the time specified, but you won’t see the results you’d hoped for.  

    But they’re still results, right? So, pay up.  

    There are also companies that promise to get you to spot X by day X, and you won’t pay for their services until they deliver. This is also a difficult promise to make and, realistically, not all that helpful as you could sit in this limbo state waiting to get to the top spot…forever.    

    A good SEO company won’t offer a ‘money-back guarantee’. Once they’ve audited your website and discovered the factors affecting your online performance, they’ll be confident in their SEO strategy. They won’t need to suggest you might not achieve your goals.  

    What Can I Expect From Guaranteed SEO Services?  

    Very little, I’m afraid.   

    If you fall victim to an SEO agency that promises the world but fails to deliver, here’s what you can expect.  

    Poor Ranking On Irrelevant Keywords  

    Ranking for low-volume keywords requires minimal effort. Although it’s possible for low-volume keywords to deliver leads and sales, the figure is potentially far, far lower than the common keywords the bulk of your target market is using. If your SEO agency says you have hit number one for a bunch of keywords, always check the scale of the search volume that comes with each. 

    Minimal ROI  

    Guaranteed SEO services set overly achievable targets that ensure they get paid. They prioritise their income, not your business’s success. Many businesses that use guaranteed SEO services experience no change in actual leads or sales. They’ve burnt a hole in their budget with nothing to show for it.  

    Search Engine Penalties  

    You can be sure that an SEO company that guarantees results uses black-hat strategies. But you won’t get these past Google’s Penguin Algorithm without being penalised.  

    Black hat strategies violate Google’s rules. If Google detects a black hat strategy, your website will be penalised. Penalties can range from a downgrade in your search ranking to a permanent ban from Google.  

    I can’t say you weren’t warned…  

    What Can I Expect From A Reputable SEO Company?

    Although a reputable SEO company won’t make impressive promises, its strategies aim to deliver the highest ROI for your business. Here’s what you can expect from a reputable SEO company 

    Long-term, Sustainable Results  

    Getting to the top of search results is one thing. Staying there is another. A trusted SEO agency will have a history of SEO success in working tirelessly to get clients to the top of search and keep them there. White-hat SEO drives quality traffic that produces sustainable results.  

    Good Ranking Position On Competitive Keywords  

    As we said earlier, there’s no point ranking for irrelevant keywords. A reputable SEO agency will identify the best keywords to put you in a competitive ranking position.  

    Developing a keyword strategy is not a ‘one-time thing’. It’s a continuous process that ensures you’re always aligned with your audience’s search intent.  

    High-Quality Traffic And Motivated Leads  

    A reputable SEO agency will develop a solid understanding of your business and target audience. With this information, they know who to target in their keyword strategy. Using the right search terms and phrases, you’ll attract motivated customers actively looking for your products or services.  

    How Do You Spot A Reputable SEO Agency?   

    Big promises and a lack of regulation within the industry can make it hard to spot a good SEO company. If an SEO agency has your business’s best interests at heart, it will possess the following qualities. 


    A reputable SEO agency will be transparent about its plan to improve your website’s ranking. They will be open about what you can expect to achieve without making any rash claims. There should be no illegible fine print and no hidden fees!  

    Track Record  

    Read testimonials, check their client list, and ask around. A good SEO agency will have a solid track record of success. If they’re as reputable as they say they are, it won’t be hard to find evidence to back this up.   

    No Promises Of ‘Quick Results’  

    SEO is a long-term process. If the agency promises you fast results from a cookie-cutter strategy, it’s likely a scam. There is no one-size-fits-all SEO strategy. A reputable SEO agency will customise your strategy and offer realistic timeframes to expect results.  

    No High-Pressure Sales Tactics  

    A reputable SEO company will have a large enough client base to avoid desperate sales tactics. You’ll have time to go away and think before making any decisions, and they’ll be available to answer any questions.  

    A tablet screen leaning against a keyboard displays graphs and charts.

    How Long For SEO Changes To Take Effect? 

    How long it takes to see results will depend on a few things, such as:  

    • The quality and quantity of SEO techniques in place.  
    • The competitiveness of your keywords. The more competitive they are, the higher quality they are… but, the longer it will take to rank for them.  
    • How targeted your keywords are. 
    • The frequency of SEO efforts. 
    • Any changes to Google’s rules or algorithms.  

    While there’s no specific timeframe (and there shouldn’t be), you can expect to start seeing results between four to 12 months.  

    How Do You Know If Your Agency Is Getting Results? 

    Of course, the best way to know if your agency is producing results is a boost in leads and sales. But you might be too busy with all that extra work to wonder where it came from.  

    You can keep an eye on your Google Analytics to track changes in website traffic. You can also use tools like Ahrefs to check your ranking for your chosen keywords.   

    But… your SEO agency should update you regularly and provide detailed reports that show your progress. This is all part of a reputable service. It doesn’t take much to check in with clients, inform them of any changes to their strategy and ensure they’re happy with their results.  

    Is Your SEO Agency Making A Lot Of Bold Claims? Sounds Like It’s Time To Switch!  

    But how?  

    We make it easy. You can stay with your current agency while we carry out an SEO Audit on your site. This is the first and most critical step in developing a tailored SEO strategy.  

    Worried your current agency might find out that you’re shopping around? Don’t be! We don’t require any special access, and we won’t ‘tip off’ your current agency while we carry out the audit. Everything we do is completely confidential.  

    After we go through your website with a fine-toothed comb, we’ll provide a complete review so you know how your site is faring. This will either give you peace of mind that your current agency is actually producing results…  

    … or it will give you the information you need to change your SEO agency.  

    SEO Takes Time To Get Results  

    And we’re in it for the long haul.  

    At Found, we don’t over-promise and under-deliver. We’re all about long-term results. We achieve and maintain realistic goals through old-fashioned hard work and ethical SEO techniques. Our Search Specialists are well-versed in all factors of SEO, allowing us to create comprehensive strategies that stand the test of time.  

    SEO results are anything but guaranteed. We don’t guarantee results. But we can guarantee that we won’t give up until you see the business growth you deserve. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see results, simply send us a message via the form on this page and we’ll get right back to you.

    Headshot of Emily Bodman.

    Emily Bodman

    Content Marketing Specialist
    Emily is a Content Marketing Specialist at Found whose focus is to craft SEO-optimised content that engages audiences and drives results.
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      Ready to go where your customers are?

      75% of people never scroll past Google's first page. If you're ready to get found where they're looking, get in touch and find out how we can grow your business and drive more traffic, leads, & sales with search marketing.

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