If anyone approaches you with a guaranteed claim of ranking your website on the top search rankings of Google, Bing, and any other conventional search engine, the offer is either overpromising or it’s fake!
No matter how experienced the SEO professional or the Agency is, no SEO expert can control the search engine rankings. These superficial and guaranteed claims to rank a particular website on the first page of search results or ranking a website on the #1 search results in 15-30 days is nothing but a big scam.
According to Google’s Beginner Documentation, it is specified that “no one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google”. Google has over 200+ ranking factors, so even if an SEO expert manages to optimize a website well enough by meeting every ranking criteria, still there is no guarantee that the particular website will rank on the top search results.
We have been noticing that these so-called Guaranteed SEO services are becoming increasingly popular. As most people aren’t so aware of SEO, they are taking advantage of it by using manipulative tricks and techniques to run these cheap scams.
Also has it occurred to you that, if they’re good with SEO, why aren’t their websites ranking on the search results of Google or any other popular search engine? If you think about it, it draws a common conclusion, that either they’re amateurs desperately seeking to acquire clients, or they’re professional scammers disguised as SEO experts.
In this article, you will learn how these guaranteed SEO services can ruin your online presence in search results, what you can expect from a reliable SEO agency, and recovery tips for victims of these scams.
How Do They Make These Guaranteed SEO Services Believable?
There are tons of awareness posts, articles, and videos regarding these Guaranteed SEO service scams. Regardless of all the awareness posts, these con artists are still around and they are captivating individuals and businesses to hire them.
These people are very cunning and in recent years they have adopted many manipulative strategies to make themselves look authentic. They even generate fake evidence to prove that they can position your website in the top search ranking within a specific time period.
Especially claims to persuade businesses in desperate need to drive quick results, like making promises to rank your website on top search results within a few weeks or a month.
Here are some of their con schemes to make their claims believable,
- Generation of fake evidence, reviews, and testimonials
- Manipulation of data and information to trick people into acquiring their services
- Guarantee of a full refund or free service for a specific time period
- The use of private networks and websites to feature false success stories
- Feature results of ranking keywords on top search results that have a very low search volume or none at all.
- And more
To be on the safe side, you should always fact-check the information, and see whether their references are from credible sources. You can ask others in public forums like Quora, Reddit, or Google Groups Search Community.
And, to precisely authenticate you can use SEO tools such as Ahrefs or SEMRush to check their website’s SEO metrics. If they have low website traffic with several backlinks, that’s a huge red flag. Not to mention, if they have a low website health score that’s also a major sign that they are not trustworthy. Cause, if they are actual SEO experts their own websites should have impressive SEO metrics and should rank among the top search results.
How These Guaranteed SEO Services Can Damage & Ruin Your Organic Search Visibility?
Any attempts to manipulate and deceive search engines to rank websites on top search results is a clear violation of the search engine guidelines. Search engines are very strict about severely punishing websites that try to rank using deceptive SEO strategies.
So, if you rely on these Guaranteed SEO services you can unknowingly ruin your organic search visibility, have your website penalized and removed from the search engine database, along with a possible ban from the search index. You can lose a major source of website traffic and many crucial opportunities to acquire potential customers.
It can even lead to dire consequences, as it’s extremely difficult to recover a website when it’s severely penalized by search engines. If there’s any chance of recovering your search visibility, it’s likely to take a lot of time, and what’s worse is it can cost you a lot of money. And, what’s worse is no legitimate SEO agency can guarantee recovering your website from search engine penalties, especially in aspects of Google or Bing.
Interestingly these pretentious SEO experts apply 4 Common Malicious SEO Techniques that include the following,
1. Deceptive Link Baits
They need to show data figures and promising results to attract businesses to invest in their deceptive SEO schemes. Link baiting itself isn’t a deceptive strategy, it is a very effective content marketing strategy to attract new backlinks.
But this particular strategy has a gray area, it can be used to attract backlinks legitimately by creating high-value content that’s useful to the target audience.
Or, it can be used as a deceptive marketing strategy to lure tons of toxic or irrelevant backlinks. As backlinks are these referral inbound links from other websites, search engines analyze them to evaluate the credibility, authenticity, and authority of your website.
So, if you have backlinks from shady sites or sites that have been penalized by Google, Bing, or other search engines then it also puts your website’s search rankability at high risk.
Google has been upgrading its system by rolling out major updates to automatically detect spam content and low-quality backlinks. Check out the latest Google algorithm updates to learn more about how it combats websites with manipulative ranking practices and penalizes them. Look into the updates, particularly in October and December 2022.
And, if they source backlinks from irrelevant sites, particularly from websites that are not within your industry or don’t cater to your target audience, it can misguide search engines to understand the search relevance of your website.
There is a high chance your website won’t rank on the top search results, especially if the search engine isn’t clear about the website’s search relevance. And, even if they rank, it won’t be worth it cause it needs to reach your target audience, not random people who aren’t interested in your business.
As these Guaranteed SEO services have promised you fast results within a short time period, they need to act fast to show results. They will create various clickbait content on many websites that they either own or have access to. They will create backlinks to your website and lure others by tricking them to backlink your site.
This will get you tons of backlinks and it can even tremendously spike up your website traffic for a short time period, as people might be clicking on those links and entering your website. However, it won’t bring you any real-time benefit on search results, the illusion of a massive spike in backlinks and increased website traffic is just a manipulative tactic to deceive you.
The main problem here is that it won’t improve your website’s search rankings and even if it does somehow, soon you might get severely penalized for attempting to manipulate the search engines.
2. Generation of Poor-Quality Content
They might show efforts of creating many blog posts, articles, guides, product descriptions, and website content to streamline increased traffic to your website, and also to improve your search rankings.
They can even make legitimate claims like content is a major ranking factor for search engines, and manipulate you by saying they will create a lot of content for you to rapidly spike up your search ranking very quickly.
They might even show you tons of content that they have generated in their former schemes, by claiming that they have successfully created hundreds of content for their former clients and, they have made incredible results for them.
And, all this ploy may seem believable as their sole intent here is to convince you to fall for their scam. But if you fall for it, you’ll be making a terrible mistake, as they are here to rip you off, so they won’t be focusing on making quality content.
Google mainly prioritizes content that is reliable, credible, relevant, and most importantly helpful. Google has upgraded its system to automatically identify whether the content is helpful or not. Google will automatically derank or deindex web pages that are deemed unhelpful. Learn more about their latest helpful content policies.
Rather they will use various shortcuts like hiring freelancers who write average content, or they might use AI writing tools to craft numerous low-quality content in aspects of relevance, value, coherence, and information.
The main reason content is a major ranking factor is, it is the only way to differentiate between whether the information is helpful, whether it’s legitimate or fake, and most importantly whether it’s relevant enough to fulfill your target audience’s search intent.
It’s 2023, and it’s the year for the AI revolution, we have some really good content-writing tools that can generate several original copies within seconds. However, it’s AI after all, they have limitations too.
No matter how perfect or accurate the content seems to be, it has a high possibility of being filled with errors. This is because it is still dependent on a human operator to give it instructions to generate the content, and even if it’s correct, it still has limitations such as, it cannot do proper trend analysis, and it can make crucial mistakes stating facts.
Plus, it also depends on what AI content writing tool they’re using. In a nutshell, there are so many variables here that indicate strong possibilities of things going wrong here. And at the end of the day, you will be left with low-quality content that will neither help you rank nor increase conversions.
Not to mention, in most cases, the content may even be plagiarized, as they may directly copy-paste content from other websites. And, plagiarism is a huge violation according to search engine guidelines. Not only can it get your website removed from the search index or banned from major search engines, but it can also get you in trouble with lawsuits, fines, and other legal problems.
3. Improper Use of Keywords
Search engines generate search results by matching the user’s search intent with the most relevant keywords in their database. That’s why the proper use of keywords is one of the most important ranking factors.
To be more precise, the proper use of keywords means that they need to be meaningful and well-constructed so that they are helpful to online searchers.
In SEO, keywords are used for two purposes; to rank your web pages on total search results and to increase your conversions, particularly to enhance your search visibility to your target audience.
The main reason you’re investing in SEO is to streamline increased sales right? So, do you think investing in such a shady scheme will increase your sales conversion?
Before investing in any SEO service, make sure to read search engine guides such as Search Engine Starter Guide, Bing Webmasters Guide, and Google Search Essentials (formerly known as Google Webmasters).
Using proper keywords isn’t a walk in the park, you need to do proper keyword research to identify and sort out potential keywords individually for specific web pages and content.
And to do proper keyword research you need to have extensive SEO experience, it’s not a beginner-level task. So, it’s most likely for them to come up with a random bunch of keywords that won’t possibly rank.
There are some tricksters here, who will go for keywords that are easy to rank, but here’s the catch, most of them have low search volume or none at all. So, even if they show results or examples of ranking such keywords you need to understand whether it will bring any monetary value to your business. It also takes a while to originally rank keywords on the top search results.
Hence, you should only trust an SEO agency that abides by the search engine guidelines, has a good industry reputation, and knows how to conduct proper keyword research.
4. May Use Black Hat SEO Strategies
Black Hat SEO strategies are the use of disapproved SEO practices to manipulate search engines to rank particular web pages.
As it was mentioned before, such practices are strictly prohibited by Google, Bing, and other major search engines and can lead to serious penalties such as deranking, deindexing, and, even permanent removal and ban of websites from the search engine database.
There are two reasons to use the Black Hat SEO strategy; the first one was already pointed out, which is to exploit search engines attempting to rank particular websites on top search results.
And the other is to help you gain an unfair competitive advantage in search rankings by targeting your top competitors and getting their websites penalized by search engines.
The ones who promise Guaranteed SEO services may also claim to make your business more competitive on search rankings, without disclosing how they will get it done. So, you may be completely unaware of the unethical and illegal tactics that they are already applying.
Even if you’re aware of Black Hat SEO practices, and still wish to proceed with these Guaranteed SEO services then you’d be making a horrible mistake. This is because most of these strategies no longer work, your website won’t rank as search engines are now advanced enough to trace them.
Even if they do work, it might not have any benefit at all, because if you’re ranking for the wrong keywords, or more importantly, if your website isn’t visible to your target audience on search results then the return on investment is zero.
Given the benefit of the doubt, let’s say it’s ranking and you’re actually getting conversions, and your sales have spiked up as well. But, what happens when your site gets penalized and banned from search listings? You might lose the opportunity to attract customers from search engines forever.
So, the cost and risk here are much greater than the possible benefits, so you should seriously consider avoiding these Guaranteed SEO services.
Think about it, is it worth it to throw away long-term sustainable opportunities to rank on top search results by capitalizing on short-term benefits that don’t even have any guarantee?
If you read about the Top Black Hat SEO strategies that these shady agencies offer, then you will understand how risky they are and why there is such a high scope of failure here.
Top Black Hat SEO Strategies:
In recent years major search engines have upgraded their system to identify the user’s search intent and generate relevant results based on their search query.
So, just stuffing keywords no longer work, they need to create value and be helpful to their users. And, that’s why keyword stuffing won’t enhance your search rankings; rather it will just increase your website’s spam score and reduce your chances of ranking on the top search results.
According to Google Keyword Stuffing Documentation Guidelines it includes, lists of phone numbers without substantial value, mentioning lists of cities and regions in several texts, and repeatedly mentioning the same word, phrases, or brand names in an unnatural tone.
Cloaking in SEO refers to the practice of showing different content to search engine crawlers than is shown to actual users. This is often done in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings by tricking the crawlers into thinking a website is more relevant or valuable than it actually is.
Cloaking is considered a violation of search engine guidelines and can result in penalties or even being banned from appearing in search results. So, by cloaking they will be showing one piece of content to search engines and a completely different piece of content to human users.
Cloaking involves the use of graphic content such as images and videos in an attempt to manipulate search engines to show the content specially to people. And, it also includes the use of sneaky redirects, which is discussed in detail in the next point.
However, as search engines are getting more advanced, it has developed countermeasures to detect website cloaking. Once you get caught, your website can get blacklisted by search engines. Learn more about anti-cloaking measures mentioned on Google Guidelines.
This strategy is done to divert traffic from one website to another without the user’s consent. So, if you click on a particular website in the search results, it will first load the website that you originally intended to visit, then within a few seconds it will redirect you to another website.
This is a technical way to trick the search engine, by targeting a web page that’s ranking on the top search results. Usually, these agencies might have hackers who can apply technical adjustments to automate these redirects.
There was a time when it worked as search engines couldn’t detect them but now Google and some other top search engines can. Plus, sneaky redirects can be reported to search engines by website owners.
That’s another potential risk of availing such a Guaranteed SEO service, cause if they apply sneaky redirects, your website will get penalized by search engines.
Aside from all the tricks to acquiring backlinks, they might claim that you need to pay for them. So, once you agree they will supposedly outreach a bunch of sites and pay them a certain amount of money to create backlinks.
This means more profit as they can charge you a variable price for the number of backlinks that you agree to pay for. You might be getting a lot of backlinks, but as they will be from shady sites with high spam scores, and poor-quality content your website may ultimately end up being penalized by search engines.
According to Google Guidelines, the trade of backlinks is strictly prohibited, and it will get your website severely penalized.
Private Blog Network (PBN)
There are high-authority blogs with expired domains on sale. So, these agencies purchase these sites and edit the existing content by including backlinks to their site. By doing so, they will gain high-profile backlinks.
They might even post new content, and continue to leverage these PBNs to create more and more backlinks. In the short run, they might benefit themselves and whoever they are creating backlinks for.
But sooner or later, these high-authority blogs will lose their value and will lose their rankings especially when search engines detect improper backlinking and spammy content.
Google has automated its system and has upgraded its system to detect PBNs and other exploitation methods to rank web pages. So, ultimately Google will identify the use of these techniques and penalize websites for link spam. Learn more about Google’s Link Spam policies and countermeasures.
There are more shady strategies, some of which we’ve already covered such as link baits, generating poor-quality content, and improper use of keywords. But the fact here is, most of these evasive tactics have severe consequences.
And, that’s why you shouldn’t trust these Guaranteed SEO services, as they happen to be the biggest scam ever.
How to Identify Whether an SEO Agency is Legit or Fraud?
Reliable SEO agencies abide by all the guidelines and regulations of Google, Bing, and other search engines. To evaluate whether an SEO Agency is reliable or not, go through their resources, and fact-check whether they match the search engine guidelines.
If their content contradicts the search engine guidelines, then there’s more to investigate here. Dig deeper, and check their blog posts, case studies, awards, achievements, client reviews, testimonials, etc.
Run a Google search to see whether there are any complaints about them in third-party forums like Quora or Reddit. Check for reviews on online directories such as Clutch.co and other credible sites that rank SEO agencies. And see, whether they provide periodic KPI reports or not, reliable SEO agencies regularly send monthly reports. If it all turns out positive, then yes they’re a legit SEO agency.
What to do if you become a victim of the Guaranteed SEO Service Scam?
If you become a victim of the Guaranteed SEO service scam, then your best bet is to either hire in-house SEO professionals or a good SEO agency.
Regardless of whether hiring SEO specialists whether it’s in-house or outsourced, it will depend on how much damage the scammers have caused on your website.
But don’t lose hope, it’s possible to recover websites that have been penalized by search engines. If your website gets removed or banned from search engines then it will no longer appear on search results, even if you search using your brand keywords. Here’s our guide that might help you resolve the issues.
We’ve managed to help a Healthcare Tech Giant recover from Google penalties, which you can read about in our case study.
In case you’re considering hiring an SEO Agency, you can check out our SEO services, and if you find us trustworthy enough then you can get in touch with us by booking a Free SEO Consultation.
Let’s have a discussion and get started by resolving your issues and taking further steps to improve your search visibility, brand awareness, and revenue stream to new heights.