How Many Fingers Are In Your SEO Pie?

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Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar?

  • Big Brand USA contracts US Based Search Marketing Firm
  • US Based Search Marketing Firm then outsources all SEO work to Minor US Search Marketing Firm
  • Minor US Search Marketing Firm then outsources to Major Offshore Agency.
  • Major Offshore Agency then outsources the bulk of that work to individual contractors in their town, working in a basement office with mattresses on the floor.

America is built on outsourcing. Outsourcing is common and its part of business, even SEO.

But if your SEO firm is outsourcing, are they keeping an eye on the work that is actually being done?

And what about security? How secure is the outsourcing company’s infrastructure and can the information and SEO reports that they are working on be accessed online by your competition?

Lee Odden at TopRank writes about sure, SEO companies or individuals make more money via outsourcing and can fill the demand, but they need to keep an eye on the work that is being done and review it before passing it along to the client :
Is Your SEO Firm Outsourcing Your Work?

Personally, I think if a SEO firm outsources part of a client’s SEO or social media marketing program, they must be actively, if not intimately involved with the work. If they don’t know enough about the tactics, then they should use the opportunity to learn. Otherwise, it’s pretty much a crap shoot what the client is actually getting for their money.

I’ve tried outsourcing in the past and pretty much, you get what you pay for. I’ve made my mistakes years ago outsourcing abroad and in the United States. Finding an outsourcing company with high standards and work ethics is a gem.

If you’re looking for the cheapest bid on eLance to do all of your client work for you while you sip Pina Coladas at the beach front bar chances are, your client is going to get wise to what’s going on soon enough. If not, you’re lucky.

If you look for a reputable firm for outsourcing, keep an eagle eye on the work via middle management or training the firm yourself, the work you deliver to your client will be the quality that they are looking for.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • nancy

    Great article. I’m pretty new to this stuff and have wondered how the outsourcing thing worked. Some tell you to oursource what you don’t like to do or don’t know how to do. I guess that’s a good idea, but like you said, you have to keep an eye on things.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    And outsourcing to people you know and trust is very important. If you don’t know them, ask for references.

  • Complementos de moda

    you have to take care about outsourcing, I loose a lot of money working with people from countries like india.

  • Michael Temple

    I think there is a value problem here. If someone doesn’t like doing SEO work or worse doesn’t know how to do the work then taking SEO projects on and simply passing it on to someone else is wrong.

    In such an arrangement I am failing to see what value you [the person doing the outsourcing] is offering to the client. They get charged a higher fee (your markup) but you aren’t delivering any useful value to the transaction. At the end of the day I believe any provider of a service only has client value to sell. Without it you have nothing to offer.

  • Lawyer

    Outsourcing has to be the dumbest thing any American company can do! Here’s some examples Allstate Insurance outsources their phone support to India on the weekends. Try calling them, they can’t speak English in Bangalore and they won’t help you until they get the following info from you. Your Name, drivers license number, social security, mothers maiden name and account number. Now WHO in their right mind is going to give this vital and private information to an unknown Indian in a 3rd world country with a track record of boot legging Movie DVDs, Music CDs, Pirating software and Pirating Microsoft operating systems and releasing a world famous virus to USA consumer and government computers in the mid 90’s and bragging about it on the cover of Newsweek Magazine. India and Thailand are also known as hot spots for Identity Theft.

    Are you starting to get the picture about Outsourcing?

    Not yet then ask 100 USA Web companies that have outsourced and 99 of them will have a horror story to tell you. I invite you all to contribute your horror stories. I hear Outsourcing horror stories everyday.

    Don’t Americans know that cheap labor only gets you cheap products and services NOBODY WANTS!

  • Kevin H. Pollard

    Common sense dictates that personal information not be given out over the telephone; identity theft is a large and growing problem.

    But if Lawyer has a problem with outsourcing, Lawyer should refine the problem statement. Certain levels of service and security do not lend themselves to effective outsourcing…others do. If Lawyer has an issue with outsourcing, then he/she should exercise his/her freedom to take his/her business elsewhere and pay the premium that his/her principle requires.

    The pirating argument falls into shallow water; most of the “file sharing” during the Napster era was by those of us in the good old U.S. of A. And perhaps someone should call the 100 Web companies and see what the real results are.

    I learned a long time ago that saying something that nobody challenges doesn’t make it true; writing an opinion repeatedly does not make it fact; screaming a falsehood at the top of your lungs doesn’t make it true.

    Lawyer, I am calling you out to back up your claims with facts, not exaggerated and uniformed opinions. When you do, let us all know (independently verified) how much of your money you make on the outsourcing issue and why you might continue to do business with outsourcing firms when you have the choice to pay the premium for domestic service.

    As for myself, I would rather make my own choices and I respect the rights of others to make their choices.