After almost hiring a company to help with traffic generation to a site, it came to my attention that they were, in fact, a competitor that is operating sites on relevant topics.
This caught me off guard, at first, but, then I started thinking: how would one know/claim to be proficient in SEO unless they owned a relevant site in the first place?
I've reached a point where I am wondering if the hiring of an SEO company could easily wind up being a competitor in disguise. It took a while before the SEO company was ultimately determined to be in direct competition. I could release/expose their name, but have chosen not to...for several reasons (including the TOS on WebmasterWorld).
Should I eliminate SEO firms from consideration in the future? I enjoy the research that I perform in order to help other people, yet trying to figure out who to trust with regard to increased traffic...I don't enjoy that aspect very much...
Silvery, Google would not penalize your client's sites unless they were also employing those techniques. 2nd, unless you had a nondisclosure with that client, it is always to your advantage to disclose who your clients are...the more of them you have the better...it obviously adds credibility.
[edited by: lawman at 10:30 am (utc) on Apr 30, 2010] [edit reason] Politeness [/edit]