Recently, we've been approached my many companies who are just fed up with their current or recently sacked web developers or SEO team. Sometimes they've had their website development handled by someone in house (usually the IT team – a big mistake) or sometimes they've just had a pretty poor relationship with a freelancer or designer.

Don't get me wrong, it's impossible to be on the same page with all your customers and it's the mark of a good company when they can stand proud and move away from a relationship when it's not working.

However some, especially in the search engine world, will try anything to keep hold of a company. They will even resort to giving promises and guarantees that are just impossible to keep. Have you ever been told by a company that they can get you to number one on Google guaranteed? I'm sure you have, it's almost an addiction within the industry to blurt out the word whenever they're talking to potential companies.

Well, it appears a company in the US has been taken to task over it.

http://www.atg.wa.gov/pressrelease.aspx?&id=21378

This is important. It states that companies making promises that they can't keep will be chased down and taken to task. Will this ever happen in the UK? I doubt it, but the fact that it's happened and is quite high profile means that it will help to inform business that this company that phones up and says “We will make you number one on Google” are obviously stretching the truth.

But why can't they guarantee it?

Well, Google (and other search engines) really don't have any obligation to index your website. They're a company just offering a service to users and if they don't want to index a site then they are quite within their rights to happily ignore it.

And that's it. There are no guarantees with search engine optimisation. At all.