Search Engline Land blogger Andrew Shotland warns against unscrupulous search engine optimization consultants, and I want to echo his warning.
Shotland's post focuses on an incident he is personally involved in. After posting a negative review about a local auto tranmission repair shop, Shotland's review was commented on by someone promoting ther own repair service. It's a tactic known as comment spam, and it is rampant across the Internet.
Shotland's point is that some businesses are hiring SEO consultants that post comment spam to help business owners boost their search engine rankings.
I have seen SEO consultants that are pretty sleazy. For instance, a few week aago, I came across one consultant that was registering businesses in multiple locations to boost a firm's local listings in several zip codes.
Search engines ask you to name your physical location and that determines which zip code or town you'll be associated with in Local Listings.
The SEO consultants I came across recently were advising businesses to somehow establish addresses in mutiple towns, even if they actually didn't have a office in all of those places. They advised asking a friend with a business at that location to allow you to use his address, and maybe you could do the same for him as well.
Apart from being unethical, making up additional locations to be able to get listed in more searches violates search engine user agreements. If Google or any other search engine figure sout that you're using bogus locations, your SEO effort will be decimated and you'll have no recourse.
Point is, comment spam, making up locations, and other exotic strategies cold land you in hot water.
SEO consultants are not licensed or regulated. So if the strategy a consultant tells you sounds strange, check it out.