Marketing_Guy - 11:50 am on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)
Sadly yes. :(
I took over the SEO work for an agency last year who's previous supplier basically sold them keyword research and title tag optimisation (bad "optimisation" - just listing keywords) as being "SEO services". The sad thing is that the agency (design agency) didn't know any better and were also reselling this service to clients.
The problem is that the demand is there, so anyone in a related business (web design, graphic design, development, marketing) will be asked for SEO often enough by clients for them to think they should be doing it themselves. Partnering with a decent provider is the sensible move but most (particularly tech focused suppliers) choose to do it themselves.
In a way, the recent Google updates are actually a good thing - if you look back to the regular monthly updates of the 2002/3 era, it really sorted out the men from the boys, but the subsequent relative calm and growth of SEO in many ways just allowed people to offer services with very little understanding of what they are doing.
To this day I bet there are loads of "SEOs" who think title tags should be a place to list keywords and not the *actual* title of the document. This leads on to the whole "but, but, but I did "ethical SEO" so why have I been banned?" chat...