MediaPost's Search Insider has a list of ten tips to consider, when hiring the right SEO Partner. Some of the not so obvious tips include:

- Read Google's and Yahoo's Quality Guidelines. Although there is no official rule book, it is important to take a few minutes with the Quality Guidelines from Google and Yahoo. By understanding the positive and negative things the engines look for, you can better understand what your prospective SEO partner is trying to sell you.

- Set collaborative benchmarks. Winning top placement for some specific phrase is not the real goal. Quality traffic is the goal. Visitors to the site need to convert into customers. To make your SEO partner both effective and accountable, share your site analytics and set meaningful benchmarks.

- Don't ignore your instincts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Google specifically says that "no one can guarantee top rankings on Google." SEOs that promise instant results and incredible placements just aren't being truthful, even if their processes are above-board.

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