How do you find a company or a person that actually knows what they are doing. I have spoken with companies ranging from a few hundred a month to thousands of dollars a month. Every damn one of them has the exact same presentation. They never have a real plan. They just say, "oh, we'll get you good quality links through good content." No one says what that is, how they'll do it, how long it will take ect... It makes me wonder, why is SEO even charged on a monthly basis? That's the cycle of the moon, what does it have to do with anything. I've asked just about every provider to give me a basic timeline of what to expect. All I'd like to see is them to actually analyze the site, point out the weaknesses on-page, what they will do to fix that, how long it will take. Then plans for creating content, distributing it in terms of campaigns, blog posts, videos, infographics whatever. Is it too much to ask for someone to tell me what they are going to do and why? In any other industry in the world, an expert charging hundreds of dollars an hour, should have enough grasp on their field to be able to have a plan, why that plan is the best option, and what kind of results to expect from it. Even if the plan was fully implemented and was a complete flop, I'd understand. But just writing big check each month and being told that it might take a year for there to be any real progress seems like a great fleece. Also, is it wrong to think that slow link building that takes months to gain any momentum probably have no real value today or in the future. In my mind, it's obvious google is pushing fresh new content to the first page. The boston marathon is a good example of this: Monday morning, if you searched for boston marathon, you would have got all kinds of info on the race. Yet, Monday afternoon, the front page is full of discussions and news articles only an hour or two old. While I don't expect an SEO company to launch me to the first page overnight, doesn't it make sense that if google doesn't see value in your link/content the first day it's published, then they likely aren't going to see it valuable a month from now, a year from now, etc? I'd love to be able to do it myself, but my business is already too big for me to handle on my own, and dedicating even more time to SEO work isn't going to be possible. So how can I find someone who is actually capable of running an SEO/IM campaign in a manner that would be somewhat accountable for the money spent?