Looks like American Express Guide did not understand or was not aware of SEO. In one of its small business guides, OPEN it had mentioned not to waste money on SEO and search engines penalize optimizers. These PDF statements by OPEN clearly demonstrates how illiterate or unaware the authors of the book had been.
OPEN a part of American Express Business Gold Rewards Card program, it releases books and meet-ups in several cities. The book is also called “A practical guide for business growth”. The following is an extract from the book.
Search engines, like Yahoo! and Google, are usually the first place people will look for you. Make it easier for them to find you. Yahoo! and Google offer tools to let them know the site map structure of your Web site.
Also, using clean U.R.L.’s like yourdomain.com/store/widgets instead of yourdomain.com/store.php?id=42&categoryID= widgets will increase your chances of getting indexed in a search engine.
Finally, don’t waste money on so-called Search Engine Optimization (S.E.O.) specialists. Search engines are very quick to penalize sites that try to trick their filtering techniques, and once your site has been put on Google’s blacklist, it will take forever to get off.
This statement has a contradiction to another document hosted by the same OPEn Meetups page which promotes the idea of search engine optimization.
Today’s Internet market needs SEO to survive especially small business companies. Websites which have not done basic optimization are considered bad sites to refer by search engines. This note by American Express Guide can just be ridiculed as a book written by inexperienced editors.