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#1 DigitalResellersUK

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 22:35

Hello TWDF,

I'd really like to discuss people perceptions around companies offering Google Guarantees.

My company which is a support agency for Web Developers, Adwords agencies, Graphic designers etc etc allows these agencies to ( if they choose) offer clients Page 1 guarantees on 20 keyword packages plus.
I find this helps the agencies we support close more sales but also to many customers they feel their dealing with a professional who knows what there doing.

Now what I'd really appreciate and please don't hold back is everyone's honest opinions around agencies offering Google page 1 guarantees.

If your an agency do you offer a Google Guarantee? What have been your objections?

If your a business owner have you been offered a Google guarantee? What were your first thoughts? And did you move forward with the business that offered the guarantee or with the company that did not ?

And for all those who are neither please answer this question " would you feel more comfortable dealing with an agency who offers a page 1 Google guarantee and can provide data to support their success or would you feel more comfortable dealing with an agency with no Google Guarantees?

Look forward to this discussion
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#2 MikeChipshop

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 07:28

A page one guarantee is one of the things that puts me off a company.

Just the phrase "page one guarantee" is so open to interpretation (and generally is), page one for what? Your most important keyword? A direct match domain? Your brand name?

I find it's just a meaningless sales phrase, designed to suck those who know little about the industry in, and I'll avoid companies that use the phrase.
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#3 DigitalResellersUK

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 08:46

Hi Mike
Thank you for your response it's an interesting insight.

You raise some points that I'd like to shed some light on.

The actual phrase is "Google page 1 guarantee" and as mentioned above the example we are using is for 20 keywords or more.

Now you also raise a very good question here around keywords. Who chooses the keywords ?

I cannot speak for other businesses but paths way this works with Digital Resellers is usually an agency following these steps.

1. Do an SEO Audit
This audit looks at on page and off page SEO but more relevant to this thread Core keywords and the estimated average search volume per month. The keywords used in this audit are also keywords important to the potential client.

2. Go through Audit with client
The agency walks the client through the findings and presents the best keywords with the highest search volume and also listens and understands what keywords are important to the client

3. Keyword list
With the data and understanding the clients objectives a keyword list is created.

Now I understand not all business follow this process but when the above process is followed it highlights the relationship that should be formed by an Agency and potential client.

Edited by DigitalResellersUK, 15 May 2016 - 08:50.

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#4 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 08:49

I find it's just a meaningless sales phrase, designed to suck those who know little about the industry in

 

Careful of your wording there bro...

 

But I agree - it's a sales technique that's only really going to work for those who don't know better. 

 

DigitalResellersUK - you may be able to achieve page one for many of your clients, but it's disingenuous to promise it, because you can't control changes to G's algorhythm, nor the activity of your client's competitors - and for that reason, I'm with Mike. I would never work with a company making such promises. If you know what you're talking about, it sounds suspect.


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#5 DigitalResellersUK

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 09:06

Your absolutely correct we cannot control the algorithm.

Which is why we make it very clear to all agencies we support that the Google page 1 guarantee is void with Algorithm updates.

However look at the last few updates, Google warned us and what would be penalised, so Digital Resellers makes corrections if needed to avoid any negative affects.

Now I know many of you will look at this post and automatically have that "AHHA gotcha" moment with the algorithm update void sentence but as pointed out we cannot control the Google algorithm.
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#6 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 09:48

So in other words you're saying you're lying. You promise page one in your sales pitch, but in the small print say the promise is void when it comes to algorithm updates (which are irregular and unpredictable). You can't have both.


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#7 DigitalSquid

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 10:25

I'm all for natural content and progressive SEO strategies, but just to play Devil's Advocate...

 

Pushing PR on a bunch of relevant keywords is a labour intensive and slow process. Most of the agencies I've seen do it have a strategy of out-sourced ghost-written blog content, press releases and social media campaigns. It can take weeks or months to start seeing even the slightest positive effects. Why not go for the instant gratification of a PPC campaign that would put results higher up the page than any natural SEO could?


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#8 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 10:34

I agree entirely, DS, but I suppose from an agency point of view there's a lot more money to be made from running an SEO campaign because it requires so much ongoing work.


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#9 DigitalResellersUK

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 10:56

Really good discussion so far.

Yes we all know about the advantages of PPC but really the only winner is Google especially with the removal of the entire right hand side of paid ads. However this isn't a PPC thread so let's stay on topic.

Lying? I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion terms and conditions around a guarantee is standard.

Google tinker with the algorithm daily, many of the changes and alterations we never even notice. It's the major updates or introductions of new algorithms that can play havoc, and these are the ones we refer to.
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#10 DigitalResellersUK

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 11:24

At this point I'd like to remind everyone to read the original post.

So far the replies have been great I'm enjoying this discussion but we need to be careful with accusations in some of the responses and I think as further responses go reading all posts in this thread is a must.

So far the general consensus is Google page 1 guarantees are no good.

Much of this consensus is from personal/professional opinions.

However if an agency does offer the guarantee we are discussing and the keywords discussed and agreed on by the client and the client is educated on Google algorithm changes and the potential of updates, why is it looked upon in such disgust to offer a google page 1 guarantee?

For example the Digital Resellers UK Google guarantee that we support agencies with that allows them to offer SEO to assist with growing their business is below.

20 keyword SEO
Google page 1 guarantee - we guarantee to rank 1 keyword on the first page of Google in 3 months or we work for free till we do.
This is subject to major algorithm updates. If a major algorithm update does occur within the 3 month period of the SEO strategy and it has a negative affect on Seo we will work for 1 month from date of update for free to rectify and evolve the undertaken SEO strategy inline with the new google guidelines released with the algorithm update.

So far we have never worked for free and the updates with Panda, hummingbird and Google RankBrain have all had positive movements throughout all our SEO campaigns.

Personally I believe when your a white label support agency you need to provide those agencies with Offers and Guarantees and it's up to the agency if they want to use these offers and guarantees to potentially win over a prospect.
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#11 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 11:44

Lying might seem like a strong term to you, but I think it's fair in this case. A guarantee deals with an absolute - having a get out clause in this particular case renders your promise meaningless. It's one thing to say the guarantee is void if the client hires another company that ruins their SEO despite your work, but to say Google updates void it is another thing. Promising a page 1 position on google 'unless google decides otherwise' isn't worth the paper it's written on. 

 

I'm not saying you can't achieve page 1 for your clients. I'm saying you can't guarantee it. And any sale based on that guarantee is not a 100% honest way to do business.

 

Also, don't tell me how to reply to your thread. We all understand you're trying to demonstrate your business credentials, and have a 'discussion' that doubles up as an informercial for your business, but unfortunately this is (partly) my forum, and I'm not on your payroll. Sorry.


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#12 Appernetic

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 12:29

If you back up your Google page 1 guarantee with a money back guarantee, it is ok!


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#13 DigitalResellersUK

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 12:47

Unfortunately I respectfully disagree with your conclusion above.

There is no difference between the 2 examples you just used.

If another SEO company is hired and ruins the SEO is basically the same as Google releasing a new update that negatively affects the guarantee.
These are external factors that I have no control over! And I'm sure that is your point you made previously.

As mentioned with all guarantees in all industries there are terms and conditions, what you seem to be pointing out is the fact you dislike the terms and conditions that are attached to the guarantee. Correct?

This is simply hour personal opinion am I correct?

Secondly this is for market research and once you strip away a lot of the fat there are some really valid points in all threads, unfortunately there not in favour of Google guarantees but this exercise is priceless.

As for singling anyone out and telling them how to reply to a thread that would be very unprofessional. Requesting people to stay on topic and referencing the original post well that's just managing a thread.

 
I'm not saying you can't achieve page 1 for your clients. I'm saying you can't guarantee it. And any sale based on that guarantee is not a 100% honest way to do business..


Just a question why is it not 100% honest?

Is it because of the terms and conditions around the guarantee!

Just asking as I value your contribution
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#14 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 12:53

Of course it's my personal opinion. I'm clearly not trying to represent the opinion of anyone else.

 

It's the word 'guarantee' that I'm taking issue with - but you don't seem able to grasp the nuance of my example. As an SEO provider, you're selling your 'Google-fu' as it were. You being unable to live up to your marketing promises is completely different to a client hiring another company alongside you who compromises your good work. 

 

Appernetic makes a good point that backing up your guarantee with a full refund changes the landscape of your offer considerably. 

 

 

 

As for singling anyone out and telling them how to reply to a thread that would be very unprofessional. Requesting people to stay on topic and referencing the original post well that's just managing a thread.

 

Managing the thread (and by extension the forum) is the job of moderators. You are not a moderator. If you want to have a grown-up discussion, I am available for participation. If however you want a stage-managed production that keeps getting nudged back to how great you and your company are, I'm likely to take issue, and probably derail your efforts. 


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#15 brightonmike

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 15:23

A better approach would be to offer a business their money back, or a reduced fee, if you don't achieve agreed objectives within an agreed time frame.

 

A guarantee should be something that 99% of the time you can achieve. A guarantee is a form of marketing that exists to give the consumer confidence in the product they're buying.

 

That simply can't apply to what you're offering. A consumer buys something with a guarantee precisely because it's extremely likely the guarantee will be met. For example, you can get a guarantee for say, 3 years, on an electrical device because the manufacturer already knows that most of the devices won't fail in that 3 year period.

 

You can't offer a guarantee of page 1, because you can't know your chances of fulfilling that guarantee until you know more about the clients objectives.

 

Guarantees are an indication of extreme likelihood or event certainty. SEO is neither of those things.


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#16 Paul_likes_the_ocean

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 06:14

When I hear "guaranteed first page on Google" I immediately think "snake oil salesman" and click away. When I hear "we can dramatically improve your ranking" (or variation of) , then you've got my attention.
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#17 MikeChipshop

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 07:48

Gotta agree with the above.

 

It looks like the main thing we all take issue with is the use of the word "Guarantee" which we all know is impossible.

Swap over to using a different phrase that doesn't use an absolute constant and you should be fine.

 

consider using "We will improve your SERP appearance" or similar, as this is something that you can guarantee, "Page one" has always and will always scream bullshit.


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#18 DigitalResellersUK

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 09:54

Great discussion and some good advice.
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#19 Scott

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 12:43

When I hear "guaranteed first page on Google" I immediately think "snake oil salesman" and click away. When I hear "we can dramatically improve your ranking" (or variation of) , then you've got my attention.

 

QFTW


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#20 newyweb

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 11:11

Would never offer page 1 guarantee. Not only a liability but it would make me feel quite guilty if I couldn't live up to the promise..
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