Outsourcing Your SEO Overseas is a Bad Idea

I find that many business owners tend to be results-driven while at the same time, always focused on lowering costs. This mentality got them to where they are today. Why wouldn’t these low-cost high-yield techniques apply to marketing too? If a business owner wants to rank in the major search engines, why should they pay significantly more for the service locally, when an overseas company could complete the “same” service for significantly less?

Unfortunately, allowing cost to become the only deciding factor often results in trouble for the business owner.


Typically, when outsourcing an online marketing project to an overseas firm, the content created is by non-native English speakers. Best case, a few minor revisions can be made to make the content workable. Worst case, all the content needs to be completely rewritten – results include: slow growth, missed deadlines, and a whole lot of frustration. Compared to a local vendor, it’s difficult for an overseas firm to completely understand a business, its culture, employees and the community it serves. This content generated becomes out of touch with both the business goals and the market they’re trying to reach.


In business, I could have solved so many problems, and saved so much time, with some simple, effective communication. Communication becomes important between agencies and clients, on both sides, to manage expectations and deliver results. There may be 25 different channels to deliver the message, but if it isn’t well communicated, the message is easily misunderstood. Combine this with the fact that you’re now working with a company whose workday starts when you’re going to bed. Urgent priorities of today aren’t reviewed until late in the evening, and (hopefully) addressed by the next morning.  A fluid strategy requires the flexibility to change directions when an opportunity presents. An overseas vendor may not be able to quickly facilitate those kinds of changes.


“You get what you pay for” is a cliché that goes back longer than I can remember, but in this case, I think it’s appropriate. Overseas SEO agencies tend to churn out content, backlinks, and directory listings, focusing on hitting numbers over creating value. Outsourcing overseas can generate thousands of inbound links in a relatively short time, but will those links bring traffic to your site? Probably not. Often times, the links that you get are automated and spammy. A business owner or a new agency may see the volume of links and assume that more is better. This may have been true years ago, but today that’s no longer the case.

Search marketing is not what it once was; the landscape has changed greatly, it’s nearly unrecognizable from the techniques of even a few years ago. The reason that users use Google is because the site developed their algorithm to deliver the most relevant content to their users. Mass produced article spinning and link spamming gives way to high-quality content and relevant backlinks. These high-volume, low-quality, low-cost techniques can also trigger Google ranking penalties, taking more time and energy to clean everything up.