In running a start-up, I’ve been exposed to a trial by fire education of SEO. I have come away with a view that SEO is essential for any company, but goals must be defined and realistic expectations need to be used. The first of these expectations is content, does you’re content deserve to be listed on Google or etc? For most people and real companies the answer in some form or another is yes, and you should help Google find you and point out to their crawler what your site is really about. Google wants users to find good content and not hold up existing institutions, although they want to promote trustworthy content, with that in mind the basis for an SEO campaign should be to help crystallize and direct new and great content rather than to optimize. A good way to think of great SEO is as Content Optimization.
So what does that mean? I suggest something quite radical: you should not judge an SEO expert in their ability to artificially promote pages. Rather look at their past content, what were they able to create, to help clarify, to crystallize, and/or help develop. Why should you look for this? For one reason, search engines at their heart are democratic in nature, if you provide something useful, funny, informative, and new then optimize it its likely you’ll get some solid and stable rankings. If you just go out and optimize the “crap” out of crap it won’t last, and it can hurt your company in the long run.
Want to make quick money? Maybe blackhat techniques are for you?
Want to promote a company to a highly scalable SEM campaign? Create great content that people want, then optimize it.