Andrew Shum
Posted by Andrew Shum

Guaranteed SEO Services: Why You Should Avoid Them?

10 min read
Guaranteed SEO Services

When you’re about to start doing SEO, you may encounter companies offering “guaranteed SEO services,” often at a comparatively low price. At first glance, these claims may seem like a green light — would such agencies make these promises if they couldn’t do it? Unfortunately, the reality is not that simple.

People tend to like certainty, so the guarantee of achieving first-page search engine rankings can be quite enticing. But what exactly stands behind SEO with a money-back guarantee, and how do you find a reliable SEO company and assess the results of its work? Let’s find out in this article.

avoid Guaranteed SEO

Key Takeaways

  • Avoid SEO services that guarantee specific keyword rankings or traffic numbers, as they often use manipulative techniques that violate search engine policies.
  • The tricks they use may work temporarily but will eventually lead to penalties and lower rankings in search results.
  • Time and money spent on disreputable guaranteed SEO could have been better used on legitimate, long-lasting SEO practices.
  • Ethical SEO companies won’t make empty promises; they’ll provide realistic goals based on data and industry experience.
  • Reputable agencies prioritize long-term gains, transparency, and open communication with clients.
  • Case studies and independent reviews can show an agency’s ability to deliver sustainable, long-term results.

What Are Guaranteed SEO Services?

Guaranteed SEO services are those that make a specific promise, often within a certain timeframe — first positions on search result pages, the amount of traffic you can expect, and, of course, the revenue from lead conversions. For instance, “Your website will bring in between $100,000 and $200,000 per month in revenue after just a year!”

Typically, these “affordable SEO services with guarantee” are accompanied by a money-back clause if such companies fail to deliver these numbers. Or they can promise to cooperate until they finally make this guaranteed SEO improvement, all while charging a monthly subscription fee.

The catch is that digital marketing in general, and SEO in particular, is a field that requires a more humble approach. It’s not the kind of service where outcomes can be achieved exactly as estimated at the outset, although you can get close to that with the right SEO strategy.

Take logistics, for example. Shipping companies can guarantee delivery of packages by a specific date and that packages will arrive undamaged because it’s a service that’s based on a predictable system. Logistics heavily relies on years of route analysis, and this allows shipping providers to build accurate forecasting models. They own their route.

When it comes to SEO, the results are controlled by search engines, which constantly update their algorithms. And they’re incredibly complex, taking into account hundreds of different signals and ranking factors related to the content, targeted keywords, technical optimization, authority, and more. There’s no way to predict exactly how the Google algorithm will evaluate and rank websites for any given search query at any particular time.

So, if a contractor talks about “100% guaranteed SEO results,” this is often a warning sign. The best thing a worthwhile SEO agency can do is aim for good results without making any early promises of success.

Why do some SEO companies resort to such tactics? Well, it’s marketing. They try to generate interest and get potential customers to call or fill out their form to learn more, and then lock them into contracts.

Why You Should Avoid Guaranteed SEO Services

We’ve already determined that guaranteed search engine rankings are impossible. And this is the primary reason not to apply for guaranteed SEO services. Let’s take a look at more reasons why loud statements about SEO guarantee are usually not justified.

Why You Should Avoid Guaranteed SEO Services

Black-Hat Tactics Required

First and foremost, guaranteed search engine optimization agencies may be confident in achieving the SEO results they articulate initially because they may rely on aggressive spam SEO techniques, also called black-hat techniques. They’re effective in the short term, but they violate search engine guidelines, which can result in penalties. Here are some examples of black-hat tricks:

  • Keyword stuffing — This refers to placing way too many keywords on pages in an unnatural way. Google’s algorithms look for relevant keywords on a page when determining rankings for particular searches. The presence of a large number of keywords will send strong signals that the page is ultra-relevant for these terms (until algorithms notice keyword misuse).
  • Cloaking — This means showing Google and other search engines one version of a page but showing users a different, more user-friendly version — for example, one not as stuffed with keywords.
  • A private blog network — This is setting up networks of websites that all link to each other over and over. This is meant to make these sites look more popular and important than they really are.
  • Bulk link buying — This is when a company purchases a large number of backlinks from very low-quality, spammy websites that exist only to sell links. These sites typically have little to no actual content beyond link listings.

These tactics work to fulfill the first-page SEO guarantee, but only temporarily. They give the guaranteed SEO companies enough time to claim they achieved the desirable positions in Google SERPs, receive payment, and end the cooperation.

Short-Term Gains, Long-Term Pains

Ultimately, a client is left with gains that are unlikely to last. Search engines are always working to identify and stop any schemes that try to manipulate their systems. And when Google eventually detects the tricks being used, all this short-term website traffic increase will disappear instantly.

Reaching high positions after your website’s Google ranking dropped due to violations is extremely difficult and time-consuming. It requires identifying and removing all the offending tactics that triggered the penalty in the first place. Meanwhile, competitors who have been following Google’s policies and using recommended white-hat SEO practices will slowly but surely move up the rankings in search results.

Tricky Contracts

A guaranteed SEO company’s contracts may not be straightforward either, making it challenging to get your money back. They may have numerous loopholes and exceptions designed to protect the company, not its clients.

For example, maybe the contract specifies that clients had to follow every single one of the SEO recommendations perfectly for a full year in order to qualify for a refund. If they made one little mistake, they’re not entitled to it. Or there could be hidden terms that void the SEO guarantee if there were any updates during the services from the client side.

The guarantees might also have very short time limits for requesting a refund, such as within 30 days of the contract ending. If you wait beyond this short window, you’ve missed your chance.

Opportunity Cost

Perhaps worst of all, working with a guaranteed SEO service means missing out on hiring an actual, credible agency that provides the right SEO services.

Every dollar and second wasted on empty promises could have been invested into quality content, authority building, a thoughtful user experience, and other sustainable SEO practices that pay dividends long term. Instead, you’ll have to correct the SEO mistakes made by the previous contractor.

How Can You Measure SEO Results If No One Can Guarantee Them?

While guaranteed SEO services aren’t the way to go, this doesn’t mean you’re left totally in the dark when optimizing your website. There are still effective ways to track your progress and, based on midterm results, find the right path to achieve your goals.

Although ethical SEO agencies won’t make specific guarantees, they can give you realistic estimates and goals. For example, instead of saying, “We’ll get you ranked #1 for these keywords,” an honest SEO company might say, “With our recommended optimizations, you can improve your visibility for these organic search terms over 6-12 months.”

Reliable estimates are only possible after they collect all the data about your business, conduct an SEO audit of your website, assess the scope of work, and forecast your limits. On the other hand, agencies that provide “guaranteed first page SEO services” rarely actually analyze your site or your business goals.

Here are some typical SEO KPIs we monitor throughout our projects at SeoProfy:

Key SEO KPI metrics

  • Percentage of keywords in the top 10 on priority pages. This metric is the percentage of your website’s priority keywords for which at least one page from the website ranks among the top 10 organic search results. This KPI is helpful, since if it’s not satisfactory, the SEO team can reconsider its approach. For example, they can re-evaluate the current priority keyword list to ensure it accurately reflects search demand or identify underperforming pages related to the priority keywords.
  • Average position for priority queries. Moving even one position up can increase your click-through rate (CTR) by about 32%. So, in addition to just looking at the percentage of keywords, your SEO agency will provide the average website ranking position for your defined set of priority keywords. This metric demonstrates whether your most important search terms are gradually moving toward the coveted #1 ranking through SEO.
  • Amount of organic traffic. This metric looks at the total number of website visitors arriving through organic search engine results. In other words, these are not visitors from paid ads, social media, etc.
  • Number of leads or conversions. After all, increasing Google rankings and traffic is about driving more business revenue. So, it’s essential to keep track of the number of leads or conversions generated from your SEO efforts.

Monitoring these metrics allows you to see the full picture of your website’s performance in Google search. It helps you understand exactly where you may be falling short and where there are areas for improvement.

For example, let’s say you have many website visitors coming from Google search. That’s good — it means search engines think your site is relevant for these searches. However, not many of those visitors actually become customers. In this case, the problem isn’t getting people to your website; it’s getting them to take the desired action on your site.

Low conversions could mean you need to make some changes, like:

  • Making your “buy now” or “sign up” buttons more obvious
  • Rewording the calls to action to be clearer
  • Improving the signup or checkout process
  • Adding videos or images or improving product descriptions.

Or the opposite could happen — you may have great conversion rates from Google traffic but not so many visitors overall. This means your SEO may not be working, so it’s necessary to reconsider your SEO strategy.

Measure Your SEO Success with Clear KPIs

Invest in sustainable practices that compound results over months and years.

  • Qualified leads
  • Improved customer loyalty
  • Greater competitive advantage.

How to Choose a Reliable SEO Agency

The question remains, “How do you avoid falling for SEO services with results guarantees and instead choose a prospective SEO partner that prioritizes long-term gains?” Even Google recognizes this interest, offering website owners a video guide for hiring reliable specialists:

Here are some professional tips from the SeoProfy team.

Thought-Leadership Content and Education

The first good sign is that an SEO agency shares its expert advice and insights in blog posts. This shows a few important things about the company.

First, it proves they really know their business. You can get a good sense of their true expertise from the level of knowledge in their writing.

Second, it indicates they want you to truly understand the right SEO strategies. Potential partners shouldn’t just pitch vague services without explaining their SEO efforts.

SEO Performance Tracking

Trustworthy SEO specialists will show clear proof of improvements through data and reports as part of SEO packages. They will not use these metrics to make guarantees — they will use them to set goals and ensure a transparent optimization process. This way, you can see the real progress over time through different metrics.

Plus, good SEO agencies are upfront if something isn’t going well. They won’t claim everything is perfect when it’s not. A reliable provider will inform you about setbacks and take responsibility for necessary adjustments.

Experience in Your Industry and Custom Strategies

While core best practices remain universal, SEO campaigns for an eCommerce website will differ from, say, a B2B software company or a local service provider like a plumber or dentist. The target audience, search behaviors, and competitive landscapes aren’t the same across industries, influencing all aspects of your online marketing strategy.

SEO experts who have worked with similar companies, products/services, and target audiences before will better understand the search demand, buying cycles, and optimization requirements. They should be able to create a custom strategy for your website and not just use a generalized SEO strategy. Ignoring the nuances of your business in the strategy will most likely make it ineffective, if not harmful.

Case Studies

The only numbers an honest SEO agency can confidently show you are the actual results they’ve achieved for previous clients. An agency can talk a big game about its capabilities, but the numbers don’t lie. The case studies allow them to point to hard data — increases in traffic, leads, sales, and other key metrics spanning 12 months or more.

SEO professionals could also provide detailed visual reports to prove the outcomes, like screenshots from different tracking tools. You’ll be able to see charts and graphs demonstrating the growth they achieved for their clients.

Independent Reviews

It’s also wise to look beyond the SEO agency’s website. Independent review sites like Clutch can provide objective insights into clients’ satisfaction. Pay special attention to comments about achieving long-term results and maintaining positive working relationships over extended periods.


You’ve done a lot of research at this point. But there’s one final big step before deciding — a live consultation.

This initial call or meeting allows you to evaluate a crucial make-or-break factor — the agency’s communication skills and ability to explain complex concepts in easy-to-understand terms. Since you’ll be long-term partners, you need to be comfortable with their personalities too.

The most important thing is to make sure your expectations on budgets, timeframes, and SEO success metrics align. A good SEO company will give you thoughtful answers while still being honest if there’s something they’re unsure about.

Get Real Results with SeoProfy

The simple truth is that no honest SEO expert can actually promise to get you guaranteed search engine rankings. Catchy SEO guarantees are a manipulation tactic, and there may be limitations in the fine print. Legitimate SEO is about taking a slow and steady approach.

Since 2012, SeoProfy has been helping businesses build a strong and long-lasting online presence the proper way. If you’re starting fresh with SEO, we’ll optimize your website by following all the right best practices from the very beginning. Our team can also get your visibility back on track after being impacted by a scam SEO campaign.

Contact us, and we’ll maximize your business visibility — ethical SEO guaranteed!

Andrew Shum

Andrew is the Head of SEO at SeoProfy. He has been involved in search engine optimization since 2016, gaining practical SEO experience across various niches and countries.

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