I've personally found a number of people who consider that because SEO seems like "optimizing title tags, doing keyword research, and adding a little extra to a website," they can be search engine optimizers too. In the past few weeks, I stumbled across two very problematic websites from so-called "SEOs" who offer nothing but spammy services.
The problem is that they think they're 100% right. And that's a discussion that High Rankings Forums members are talking about right now.
There are so many clueless individuals in this industry. But they're likely not even reading this post or so many other posts like this that are aimed to educate. In the meantime, the issue on High Rankings Forums is that a particular SEO (who doesn't code) gave a developer a specific set of guidelines to build up a website for a client. Only after the website was live did the member realize that the developer stuffed rows of hidden keywords on the bottom of the page. When the forum member approached the developer, he got flustered and said that the page would be doomed without it.
The "know it all" approach is the kind of attitude our industry could do without. Unfortunately, it's very widespread. Further, unfortunately, it's also something that many innocent clients are easily conned with (and it gives the whole term "search engine optimization" that "snake oil" distinction).
Does that mean you shouldn't ever show your ego when you work with your clients? According to forum member qwerty, you do need it -- to educate the client, especially if the client doesn't possess the common sense and can't figure it out
But is this really different from any other industry? You can step into your local electronics store and some salesperson can tell you that your decision to buy that phone is a bad one, because "this one is just so much better." These things happen. It's not specific to our industry.
Forum discussion continues at High Rankings Forum.