Ever heard of a search engine mill? If you've looked into any type of search engine marketing, odds are that at least one search engine company has told you it can get you submitted to 500, maybe even 1000, search engines.
Save your money. Real SEOs are more concerned with legitimate link building and submitting you to a few high quality search engines like Yahoo and Google, than getting you hundreds of links on junk search engines. Real SEOs are also concerned that you have a wholistic search engine marketing campaign that takes into consideration all your marketing efforts. It's highly targeted and executed.
Many Web design firms, though, are now realizing the profitable opportunity search engine optimization services offer and jumping on the SEO bandwagon. Unfortunately, many of them don't also employ hardcore SEOs, folks who have an enthusiasm and passion for all the intricacies of SEO.
At this point, you might well be wondering, "How does she know?" Well, I worked at a place that I would classify as a search engine mill (at least of sorts). Web design was the primary focus of the business, but because SEO had the potential to generate high revenues, the firm eagerly hopped on the proverbial SEO bandwagon. The resident SEO specialist attended one conference on SEO and did programming and defacto project management work the rest of the time.
So, you have to be careful. The bottom line: Avoid any "SEO" that promises to get you links on hundreds of sites. That's the first sign that it's a search engine mill. These folks are more interested in getting your money that getting your Web site high search engine rankings.
To learn more about reputable SEOs, read The 8 Questions You Must Ask Your SEO.