There are two things that never fail to raise my SEO hackles.
The first is relatively rare, but involves the curious client that is so laser-focused on a single, short tail keyword that their entire online budget is to be blown on it. There’s no metrics data to backup whether or not it converts, but it is to be stalked and endlessly courted until somebody applies for the equivalent of an SEO injunction. They’ll do anything: switch to a keyword domain from a trusted authority site and create meaningless keyword-stuffed pages irrespective of any strategy that may have been agreed upon. There’s probably very little hope for these types other than to slip a note under their door in the middle of the night about nefarious SEO, or…..
…point them in the direction of the number two hackle raiser on my list – the SEO company that promises rankings in a pitch email. I receive two or three of these emails a day promising to help my solitary labor of love – Butler Sheetmetal – rank for certain keywords. The thing I despise most about these fruits is their lack of understanding with regards to SEO strategy. I appreciate it may not be as optimized as it can be, but I really have no interest in ranking first page for ‘sheet metal fabrication bending services in Austin, Texas’. Well, not until I move to Texas and open a workshop. I mean, at least attempt a bit of due diligence in some vain attempt to engage me – my name would be a start.
But, for the rest of us lovely people who aren’t beyond redemption, here’s the latest Google Webmaster video explaining as to why rankings can’t be guaranteed (and it’s well worth viewing):
You can read Google’s SEO guidelines about it here as well.