A number of experts have said that companies looking to improve search engine optimization (SEO) should not handle the task in-house, but in looking for outside help one expert says it’s also imperative to let a well-trained operation handle SEO.

Writing for her High Ranking Advisor blog, company CEO and founder Jill Whalen says that lately it appears that "new SEO companies keep popping up like dandelions in spring," and says that most of the free search engine optimization (SEO) info that’s available is wrong.

While there are now many search engine optimization companies (SEO) on the landscape, Whalen says it’s up to the company employing them to do their due diligence in researching and making sure the SEO firm can give a return on investment.

"If you’re a company who’s thinking of hiring an SEO consultant or agency, for goodness’ sake take a look at how long they’ve been in business," Whalen writes. "If they’ve been in the biz for at least three years and have some proof of results and satisfied customers, they probably have some clue about what they’re doing."

But even at that point, Whalen says to be skeptical and get a second opinion.

With research showing that organic search continues to outpace paid search in the search engine marketing (SEM) world, it’s likely that the number of search engine optimization (SEO) firms on the landscape will continue to grow.