Google have often stated (Google SEO guidelines video) that they have no problem with SEO. The issue they have is with webmasters, site owners and SEOs who try to gain an unfair advantage using ‘black hat' techniques, or what Google refer to as ‘webspam'.
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Yesterday, Matt Cutts of Google published a post in which he outlines again some of the benefits a good SEO can bring as well as some of the webspam tactics Google are ramping up their efforts to try and combat against.
In terms of some benefits of using a professional SEO, these can include:
Some of the webspam they are constantly trying to beat include:
Google are rolling out changes to their search results algorithms all the time but this announcement makes it clear that more major updates are coming. From some of the rumblings on the Internet, this may well be happening so expect search results to fluctuate.
They stress again that site owners need to concentrate their efforts on creating good quality websites with unique, valuable content.
You may decide that you can outsource every aspects of your site's SEO but I believe that the days of simply handing the reigns over to someone else and expecting them to get fantastic results just on the back of some dodgy link tactics are, if not long gone, rapidly on the decline.
You, as the site owner, need to take responsibility. It may be that you need help with some technical aspects of your site and an SEO could be the ideal fit. Or it may be you just need some help with creating content for your site. Again, perhaps you'll turn to outside help to get this but don't think you can just take a back seat and wait for the magic to happen.
There are some good individuals and companies out there offering professional search engine optimisation. Not everyone involved in the SEO industry is egocentric with more interest in buying fake awards than helping you. Take the time to speak with them and see if they are a good fit for you and your business.
Read the full article from Google here: Another Step to Rewarding High Quality Sites
*Disclaimer for the American market: This post has not been endorsed by The Muppets nor is it in any way associated with them.
May 2012 Update
Just some of the many posts on this topic: