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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) emerged as a business critical marketing tool about 6 years ago though the realization of this fact by consumers is only now rising like a tsunami. The delay has created a dangerous situation that is reaching acute proportions for anyone wanting to be ranked in search engines for their most profitable keyterms.

The pace of this sweeping change is being hastened by whitepapers and reports that are emerging from the offices of many highly respected individuals in the most influential positions and the most high profile industry sectors.

How can enlightenment about an imminent and fundamental change to the way one does business be a bad thing?

As in the case of the land rush that helped open the western half of North America in the late 1800s and the gold rushes in California, British Columbia and the Yukon throughout the 19th century proved, there is great potential for mayhem, financial ruin and broken dreams when too many people try to flood into an area with too few resources to support them.

This is about to happen in terms of getting found online and dominating the coveted top 10 positions on the search results pages for the most desirable keyterms. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that MOST of the self-proclaimed SEO service providers out there are either incompetent or criminal in their ability to deliver the desired results.

The Search Engine Optimization business is unregulated by all but the law of the land and requires no certification on the part of its practitioners. It is little wonder then that most of the people wanting to earn a living with a well-positioned website are bitterly disappointed 6 months down the road when they've spent their annual online marketing budget and have nothing but hollow promises to show for it.

How can I protect myself from making an expensive and more importantly time consuming mistake when choosing a suitable provider?

Besides NEVER doing business with anyone offering a Money Back Guarantee, one must do two things if nothing else;

1) Ask for and thoroughly check 3 or 4 of your potential supplier's success stories because if they have actually managed to achieve results in the past, there is a strong likelihood they will be able to do the same for you

2) Do a search in Google, Yahoo &/or MSN to see if your potential supplier ranks for phrases like “internet marketing”, “web marketing” or other related terms because it is safe to assume that if they are any good at providing ranking for others they will have also been successful at ranking their own site

If ever there was a time to apply an appropriate Latin phrase to promote extreme caution among those seeking high rankings in search engines and all of the financial benefits that accrue thereto, the time is now.

Caveat Emptor!! [Let the buyer beware]