An IT services group has hit back at suggestions by a credit card company that search engine optimisation (SEO) can be expensive and unnecessary.

According to, recent comments from American Express (Amex) in an advice booklet given to its small business customers were both "ill-informed" and "potentially damaging" to entrepreneurs.

The comments, which were made by Amex in its OPEN book customer publication, cautioned those with small businesses and suggested they should avoid wasting money "on so-called [SEO] specialists".

Richard Unwin, chief executive of, said: "[SEO] is among the most cost-effective forms of promotion available and it would be a shame if Amex business customers lost out because they have been misinformed."

As well as offering a number of SEO customers who had seen first-hand the benefits of the service, Mark Jackson of Search Engine Watch added to the debate earlier this month noting that the comments were both "irresponsible" and "unfortunate".

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