leadegroot - 12:32 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
How do these companies do it? white hat or black hat or both?
It depends on the supplier - different companies use different techniques
Do they make a deal with Google?
Some of these snakeoil salesmen are only renting you an adwords account, whereby it is easy to get you to the top for a calculated amount.
Some of the will fob you off with stories ('but you're #1 for left handed bend wratchets!').
Some might actually be able to do it - but thee aren't many.
Do they optimize their client's site using traditional coding?
You mean markup? Again it depends on the company. Some of them will only do offsite work, and the benefit is only while you are with them, because they are pointing an army of their preexisting sites (or worse - their other clients...) at your site
And what happens when I stop paying $100 a month?
Ethical SEO will continue working, mostly. That other stuff.... well...
Wait - you're only paying $100 a month? You won't get much for that no matter what techniques they use. Wouldn't even get an hour of my time.