Suppose a webmaster were to come to you and ask for advice on finding someone who can help optimize his site for search engines. How would you recommend that they get started? Where should they look for SEOs? Which questions should they ask? How could they recognize competent (or incompetent) SEOs?
The last line caused my eyebrows to go up a bit. "Incompetent" as opposed to unethical, that surprised me. Dictionary.com defines "incompetent" as "not competent; lacking qualification or ability; incapable". Interesting, although I guess you could make a long-winded case the two are interrelated.
None of the people responding to John Mu's post focused on "incompetent" SEO's - but just about everyone used the word "snakeoil" in their comments. Again - interesting.