Brian Ortiz--no relation to Big Papi as far as I know--has a great article in this week's MarketingProfs called Ethical Search Engine Optimization Meets the Consistent Value Proposition. Ortiz states:
There are two main schools within the search engine optimization
(SEO) world. The first is to work against the search engines (and your
clients) with trickery, smoke and mirrors, unrealistic expectations,
and short-term thinking.
The second is to work in tandem with the search engines and your
clients who have reasonable expectations, by following the rules the
search engines put forth to create a quality, user friendly, relevant,
unique, valuable, engaging, sticky, thought-provoking, fresh, and
This is another way of discussing the division between "white hat" SEO and "black hat" SEO. If your SEO company guaranteed you page one results, chances are they're working against the search engines. If they guaranteed you quick top ten results, chances are they're working against the search engines.
Ortiz says, "Ask yourself: Are my SEO's actions setting me up for now or the future?" It's a good question to ask yourself about SEO, as well as every other aspect of your business.
Take 5 minutes out of your day and check out Ethical Search Engine Optimization.