hunter is pretty much correct - I said most LIKELY a con artist. There are three types here that I am mainly talking about:
1) People that do not know what they are doing.
MOST people fall into this category (80%+ is my guess).
Anyone that CHARGES for using an automatic submission program is either misinformed, misinforming their clients or a conartist.
There are a great deal of people that hold themselves out at SEOs who know almost NOTHING about search engines other than what you can get from search engines for dummies.
Anyone that charges to submit to google for instance - is misinformed. There are MANY MANY seos that do this. I am sorry, and I know this will offend people - but people should not be doing this as a business if they think submitting to google will help their customers (there are two exceptions to this - and they are very very rare).
Same with submitting to AV from a static ip (I don't even submit at all, but I could see making the case with them).
Sometimes these people actually do harm by using hidden text, tricky redirects, and stuff like that. I believe all is fair in love and SEO, but those techniques (as usually implemented) do NOT WORK. I don't care what people see their competitors using. My problem is not with using the technique, but for charging a business owner for a technique that doesn't work - and possibly getting them banned when their competitors whine and complain.
I have seen "SEOs" use redirects where the end result is a blank page is indexed by google with "untitled document" as the title.
These people do do work - and THINK they know what they are doing, but are using 1997 techniques in a 2002 world.
The vast majority of information on SEO is about meta tags. Give me a few meta tags and $27.00 and I might be able to get a #1 listing on overture for online casinos.
2) Blatent con artists - people like the one mentioned in this thread and the one I mentioned are con artists. They are misleading their customers ON PURPOSE in order to get more business.
3) People that do submissions as part of an overall strategy.
Submitting to overture, findwhat, sprinks, and whatnot - is not usually anytype of con - as you are paying for those listings. This will have a result - while submitting to most search engines is USELESS. Every engine you mentioned by name is fine. You pretty much have to submit to DMOZ, unless an editor likes and knows of your site already. People that know what they are doing can help with the descriptions and where to place it.
Presumably (and hopefully) you have met with your client and are mapping out a strategy.
You tell Mr Widget maker that you will do research on keywords related to his business and that will help with overall sales. You hopefully do this research and submit these phrases to companies and manage their bids.
There is nothing wrong with this. Unfortunately - the vast majority of people that the average webmaster runs across are not those type of SEOs. They are these auto submit things - and slimy companies.
I remember one company that had a fancy box you could enter your term into to see if they COULD place your term on the "18 MAJOR Search Engines" or whatever it was (The FAQ had a different #).
Of course, miraculously - no matter what term you entered - free, s**, music - you name it - they could guarantee you a top ten placement.
This is misleading - as by the search box - they were suggesting that they COULDN'T place some terms. They are either lying - or by looking at their "partners" - simply charging for affiliate listings.
Sorry if I ranted on, but if what you say is true - you are probably in the minority of SEOs - and I would excpect have run across some of the same things I am talking about.
SEO is nothing to be ashamed of
"SEO" is another story....