We have to start with a disclaimer. This post doesn’t aim to disparage Indian SEO companies in general, but rather to point out possible and frequent dangers lurking in such a move.
We also realize that our position as a San Diego SEO firm predisposes us for bias in this case. It is true that Indian, or generally Asian, SEO companies are able to charge comprehensive services for one quarter and even one tenth of what we charge. But that’s not why we think outsourcing SEO to India is a bad idea.
Let’s start with language
You have probably received at least one email promoting India-based SEO services, right? If you ever took the time to read it, did you notice anything strange? Something was slightly, almost imperceptibly off about the language.
English truly is the second language in India, but the variant used there is different from the one spoken in the US. Their phrasing usually comes across as a bit archaic or reminiscent of formal British. This may not seem like a problem, but it actually is.
First of all, awkward phrasing on a webpage, in a blog or a press release is likely to put off readers – if the text is not palatable, why bother? This sends Google a signal that the content is either low-quality or not relevant enough. Keep in mind that rankings are now influenced by how much time users spend on your website and how much they engage.
Content written by overseas content writers is also notorious for lacking substance and going on in circles. Can you really expect more if you pay $5 per a 500-word article? Such content is churned out in massive amounts, so quality is bound to suffer.
The approach to on-page optimization
When you look at a piece of optimized content written overseas, you can notice a few salient characteristics, concerning principally keywords. It’s usually a few short, hot keywords stuffed throughout the text, while long-tail keywords are usually missing. Anchor text rarely shows any variation and the content is densely linked.
Consequently, the text looks unnatural both to the reader and Google. When Google crawls the website, the content will appear automated and spammy. Surprise?
Stuffing keywords in structureless fluff used to cut it, but not anymore. If it does offer some reward, it can never be anything more than short-term.
Shortcuts that slow you down
It all boils down to shortcuts. “You get what you pay for” is often heard in the SEO world, just like in so many other industries.
The biggest advantage, no – the ONLY advantage – of overseas SEO companies is their low charges. That’s the cornerstone of their advertising. Even though they commonly advertise a full range of services at a way lower cost, what they deliver is quantity over quality.
What Indian SEO companies also do is maintain that they practice white hat SEO. However, “white hat” strategy means building the authority of a website naturally and organically, which is only possible with high quality content, great value to users and – TIME.
Another thing is that the definition of white hat is evolving – link farms used to be acceptable years back, but now they aren’t. Google invests a lot into refining their algorithms and the bottom line is: if you try to trick Google, you will get caught. It might not be today or tomorrow, but when it happens it will entail penalties, slashed traffic, downtime and fewer sales. And a considerable amount of time and money to remedy the issue.
Who can you blame?
If things go south, who can you hold accountable? For an almost anonymous SEO company that is thousands of miles away from you it is easy to pull out when the project fails. They aren’t protecting a brand, unlike a reputable SEO company in your area.
Quantity over quality is the pervasive philosophy – both when it comes to how these SEO companies in question approach their clients’ projects and how they treat their client base.
We can also look at the whole thing from your competitor’s perspective. What if your main competition hires an established SEO company with a proven track record of success? The SEO consultants of any business bring best value if they act as dedicated long-term partners, which is not how most overseas agencies function.
To wrap up
To make our view clear, we are not stating that Indian SEO firms are bad in their entirety, and neither are we saying that all American SEO companies are blue-ribbon. One can come across low quality services anywhere, but the fact is chances for that are greater if a business outsources their SEO overseas. That’s what experience has shown.
Overseas SEO marketers advertise their services principally as low cost. However, we have shown that low costs in this case are typically followed by:
- Thin, unappealing, keyword-stuffed content lacking user-value
- Content perceived by Google as automated and spammy
- Link-building practices prone to penalties
- Low, if any, accountability if problems arise
Low-cost SEO companies in India, Asia or anywhere else for that matter have to compensate for charging their services cheaply. They do that by applying short-term strategies for optimizing on page and off page, which eventually turns out to be harmful to the website and the business.
Times have changed. Maintaining ranking excellence inevitably requires a long-term commitment. Shortcuts don’t pay off, and the damage they risk outweighs their short-term gain.
Free SEO Audit Tool
See how optimized a specific web page, landing page, or blog post is for an exact keyword or phrase