14 Feb 2006

SEO ranking estimates and timeframes – common questions, uncommon answers.

Just copying a lead (edited) here for your viewing. Nothing too special, just how I sometimes respond. Sometime I respond "very professional", and sometime I’m more slack depending on my mood.  I was also suprised that he asked all his questions without divulging his URL. I think it might be one of those Magic SEO Bullet people…maybe.

Hi Jim,
I contacted XXX XXX regarding his SEO services and he referred me to you.
My web site is in the business of allowing people to create xxx xxxx, xxxxx,xxxxx, etc. online.  It is similar in concept to xxxxx.com…
The goal is to get on page 1 of search results with those guys for ‘xxxx xxxx’, ‘create xxxx xxxx…’ etc., and as far up the page as possible.
While I understand that there are no guarantees, what type of results do you estimate you could achieve and at roughly what price?
Would you be able to do the entire thing without resorting to ‘black hat’ techniques so that my business would not be involved in anything offensive to Google or other search engines that could put the site in jeopardy?
How long do you estimate such a campaign would take to achieve results?
Thanks much and I look forward to hearing from you,

My Response:

FYI, you’re questions are great, but know that I’d never be able to answer them with any certainty.
I need to start by looking at your site (how old is it, how many links do you have currently linking to your site, what link neighborhood is your site located in, how linkable is your content (is it a resource), what your competitors have in comparison). Then I’d be guessing at timeframe to get you from where you’re currently at to where the top people for some phrases are currently at.

Are you looking long term? I hope so. Rankings is something you work towards, and keep striving a perfecting and working on (esp in getting backlinks).
Start by giving my your url.
If you want to see the first thing I’m going to look at, use this tool:
compare results….do you think you have a shot? If so, contact me back.
I’m Feeling Lucky,
Jim Boykin
CEO, We Build Pages