Blackhat and disreputable SEO tactics should be avoided.

A valuable lesson was shared this month in the Google Webmaster Help forums. If you’re a shady or less reputable SEO company, Google will not hesitate to call you out and make a fool out of you. This story comes to us from our friends at

The story starts innocently enough when a Webmaster asks about the legitimacy of a company called Better Placement. A company which claims to offer guaranteed first placement in Google, and says that they are “the first company authorized to work directly with Google”.

A Googler, JohnMu set the Webmaster straight by saying that Google doesn’t accept payment for positioning and that no one can guarantee rankings, then he helpfully directs the Webmaster to a guide of choosing an SEO.

Shortly after a user named “bruben25″ came into the forum defending the company and its actions, he posted that it was all a misunderstanding. He took a strong position defending a company that was agreed upon to be practicing unethically. This created an argument between him the rest of the forum. When he was asked if he was affiliated with the company, the user continuously denied to be affiliated with BetterPlacement. Want to guess where this is going?

After some back and forth between bruben25 and the rest of the forum, well known Google employee, Matt Cutts decided to make a visit to the forum. His first post flat out says…

Let me make it more relevant for you as a Google employee based in the United States: I would definitely avoid Better Placement. The first thing I see when I visit are the words “Guaranteed First Page Placement on Google.” That’s a big warning sign immediately on visiting The reason that it concerns me that Better Placement put those words (in an image) on is because in our official documentation on our website we mention “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google.” ~ Matt Cutts

Comically, bruben25 questions the legitimacy of Matt Cutts’ (yes THE Matt Cutts) Google Employee status. He even states that he’s attempted to find information on Matt but is unable to find anything. 

Finally Matt brings our story to its climax by linking official Ohio Records stating that the agent for BetterPlacement is one B.D.Ruben, and that the email address is He concludes there is no further evidence needed and that his advice to avoid BetterPlacement stands. If you’d like to read the forum posts yourself, feel free.

The Lesson – Be careful about any promises that your sales copy is making to potential new clients. Since the posts in the forum, BetterPlacement has removed the first spot guarantee, and has the following sentence on their page:

“We are not offering anything related to SEO. We understand that “ranking” or “placement” is something not any company can say or offer with certainty.”