Ever been tempted by an email promising you website visitors, top-of-the-page ranking in searches and followers on social media? The SEO company typically starts by promising to move your site from its current ranking to #1 on a search page permanently. Since I have more than one site already at that spot, I find such SEO promises to be disingenuous at best. A recent such email I received was convincingly written culminating with a guarantee of 3000 Facebook “likes” within 24 hours if I signed up for a free consultation. Intriguing, I thought. What would Facebook think of my page getting so many likes in one day and is that even desirable?

SEO put to the test

I decided to test the page-ranking claim without having to sign up for that free consultation. I put on my SEO hat, visited the website listed in the email and found the meta data for the site. I then used that information to search Google. None of the attempts, not even using the website’s name, showed the advertiser on page 1 or 2, let alone as #1.

SEO tips

Promises of #1 SEO ranking and website visitors are virtually always bravado. If you’re considering using such SEO services, ask some questions, like:

  • How does a search engine determine the #1 spot on a page?
  • Of those 3000 visitors you promise, how many of them need my services?
  • What’s the ROI (return on investment)? Just visitors? Or actual clients?
  • How are you accountable for the results?

It’s likely you won’t get straight answers to these questions, rather you can expect to get the run-a-round. Even lawyers who are less than comfortable with technology can use their well-trained heads to spot an SEO deal that’s too good to be true. Some things just speak for themselves.