My friends ask me for advice when they are looking at search engine marketing services for their websites. They've usually got some pushy SEO salesman giving them the hard-sell. "We can put you on the top of Google searches!".
I tell them to ask this simple question of SEO sales people who make that particular promise.
"What's your name?".
If the answer ain't "Larry Page" or "Sergey Brin", my excedingly distant ex-employers from my Google Rater days, they're lying.