The most common request we hear when discussing search engine services is, "We want our website in the top ten of the search engines when people type in the phrase ______." This goal is flawed and full of unrealistic expectations. Sadly, there are plenty of companies that are willing to take your money in response to such a demand. In some rare cases they might be able to fulfill this request, but often by using unethical and inappropriate methods and tricks that - if they do work - only work for a season and often at the cost of hurting a site in the long run.
Not only is the expectation to get a particular site in a particular position for a particular phrase flawed, but it also tends to obscure other benefits to search engine traffic. Getting expectations in line with what can reasonably be accomplished keeps companies from wasting time and money while avoiding frustration that can come from a flawed search engine strategy.