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Why Reputable Agencies Cannot Guarantee Results

pwd staff OLIVER WOOD
Oliver Wood

|9th April 2016

Why Reputable Agencies Cannot Guarantee Rankings

“We guarantee that you will rank number 1!”

“Rank at the top positions for competitive keywords, guaranteed!”

“Fast rankings guaranteed in only a few weeks!”

These types of claims are all too common. A number of SEO agencies continue to make such promises in an attempt to attract more clients. Businesses that don’t have a better understanding of how SEO works may be tempted by such guarantees and even sign expensive contracts as a result.

But you will never see reputable SEO companies (including us) make such guarantees for the following reasons.

1. Google Warns Against Companies That Offer Guarantees

Whenever Google speaks about something, businesses would be wise to pay attention and make any changes as necessary to their SEO strategy. Here is one line that stands out in particular that comes directly from their support page:

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.

The message is clear: Rankings are not guaranteed.

And Google even says to beware of any agencies that make such promises or allege that they have special relationships. In fact, Google never offers special treatment to any sites. Rankings are determined by complex algorithms that weigh hundreds of different factors from domain authority to content relevance.

So if you come across an SEO company in Perth that “guarantees” top rankings, it is best to stay away.

2. Rankings Are Unstable

Rankings constantly fluctuate.

Results that you see today for a search may be completely different from what you see tomorrow. Not to mention that Google is constantly updating its ranking algorithm. Pages that were once ranking for their target keywords could no longer be on the first page after an update.

Rankings for searches with local intent also vary widely. If you are looking for specific services, then you likely want results that are specific to your area and not across the country. So Google also considers where a search is conducted and delivers results accordingly.

Given the nature of how rankings fluctuate, it is therefore impossible for any agency to guarantee top rankings. Reputable agencies shy away from offering guarantees for this reason.

3. Rankings Do Not Equate to Success

Rankings are a poor metric to measure the success of an SEO campaign.

The metric that ultimately matters for every business is conversions

Ranking for an obscure term such as “best hand bags to carry small dogs” wouldn’t be too difficult at all. But is it actually generating customer inquiries and sales? Maybe, maybe not. The point is that reputable SEO companies will not boast or attempt to lure you in with the promise of guaranteed rankings. Instead they will focus on the bigger picture and how to drive measurable results.

SEO agencies that guarantee rankings are often only focused on this one metric that they lose sight of the other metrics that really matter. Top rankings are certainly key but they do not necessarily guarantee immediate results.

4. No Two Sites Are The Same

There are simply too many variables to consider in terms of rankings.

For example, another site in your industry might be outranking yours simply because it has stronger domain authority or relevant links. This could be the case even if it has mediocre content.

A site that is well established will be in a much more advantageous position compared to a new site that was recently registered. This is why major news publications are often able to rank almost immediately whenever new content is published.

Another factor is that what works for one site may have completely different results for another. Reputable SEO companies understand this of course which is why you will not see them making guarantees of number one rankings.

5. Search is Now More Personal

Google has implemented personalised searches to deliver a more personal experience.

Conduct a search for any query and ask a family member or friend to do a similar search. Chances are that you two will see slightly different results. Searches are affected by a number of factors including whether you are logged into your Google account, your search history, and even your location. Personalised search provides results that are suited to that particular individual.

This is great from a user standpoint but it naturally creates complications in terms of SEO. You might see your site ranking for your target keywords when others might not see it at all. Personalised searches along with the unpredictable nature of fluctuations make it impossible to guarantee rankings.


SEO is a proven strategy to drive targeted traffic and increase online sales.

But there is simply no certainty when it comes to search engine rankings. Google evenly explicitly states to avoid agencies that make such guarantees. Search algorithms are also constantly being updated so your site might be ranking one day and nowhere to be found the next. So be sure to do your research if you decide to work with an SEO agency.