As if they "know".
The problem is that SEO provides bad stories like this often. First the web designers says they "know" SEO ; then the programmer says "they know" SEO ; then the self acclaimed or newly appointed SEO say's they know, and ofen the person making the decisions to appoint the whole project chain "knows little" and listens to all "snake - oil selling " with little ability to check the stories.
So it's a never ending circle. Just try selling the truth to someone who doesn't understand!
I regularily come into contact with folks issuing directives in appointing teams on large projects who very much "don't know" enough.
btw - I'm no SEO , but think i know what to look for [ ... did i say that? ]