I read a fun article on SEO Experts to Avoid.
The article criticizes conversion experts turned SEO.
Search Engine Optimization SEO is all about trying to get free traffic from search engines. We all love to play the system and get something for nothing, however, it is a market that can easily go away.
Search engines are still king, but are only one source of traffic. This is especially true with local marketing where local printed ads still bring more traffic than international search engines.
Everytime Google changes its algorithm, there is teeth nashing on WeberMaster World as the SEO experts find their page ranks change.
The web designer who concentrates on user experience first will create a design that is valuable to the user regardless of the source of the traffic.
IMHO, the best web designer is the person who designs for the web site users but who is attentative enough to SEO to avoid big SEO mistakes.
The biggest problems with "Conversion Experts" is that they often fail to give any due consideration to SEO. For example, a flash site might have no keywords and the search engines never index them. Having an HTML navigation structure that navigates to the flash pages solves this.
IMHO: Small sites going for competitive keywords are better off concentrating on usability, then using traditional advertising or buying online traffic than competing for an overcrowded keyword.
In conclusion, I would say the best approach for web design is to consider the Free Search Engine traffic to be just one element of advertising and to avoid any SEO expert that wants to make free search engine treffic the primary focus of a web site.