There has been a sharp rise in the number of Search Engine Optimisation companies and SEO freelancers in India throughout recent years and this boom shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Many of these SEO companies are offering extremely low prices for their services that often undercut western prices. It is because of this that they have been met with a distrust from SEO industry insiders and the businesses that they contact, in fact there is a popular saying in western SEO that “SEO is the only industry where all the cowboys are Indians.” So is there any truth behind this slur?
There Are Cowboys All Over The World
Sadly there are dodgy exponents of SEO and online marketing all around the world and so it cannot be claimed that unethical or “black hat” SEO occurs exclusively in India. Although there is no smoke without fire and Indian based companies have been the largest culprits when it comes to unethical SEO tactics such as buying links and article farms but this does not mean that there aren’t any legitimate SEO companies in India because there are.
People Trust Local Companies
Another reason behind the distrust felt towards Indian based SEO companies is that businesses feel more trust towards a local SEO company or at least one from their own country. A local SEO company will know the local market that the business is aiming towards and will understand the needs of their clients better. Many business owners struggle to understand how a SEO consultant who is thousands of miles away can help their business. To some extent this concern is founded as a SEO professional who is based in India would not have the same knowledge of the local market and community as someone who is based 5 miles away.
The Call Centre Image
India has been marred by its huge call centre activity in which they target western countries, usually right before they sit down for a meal and try to sell them something that they don’t want. This association has negatively impacted on the Indian SEO industry and the unethical actions of some Indian SEO companies has made it doubly hard for legitimate SEO service providers in India to earn the trust that they deserve.
Are The Prices Too Low
It seems odd that prices being too low would deter western businesses from hiring an Indian SEO professional but that can be the case if they see that the price being offered is much lower than a western competitors. This can lead to distrust and a feeling that they will not be receiving a quality service but instead a low end, impersonal quick fix solution. Businesses don’t want to be associated with low quality services and so they will often be willing to pay more for peace of mind.
Helping Their Own
Another reason for western businesses choosing local SEO companies over foreign ones is that they feel a certain obligation towards SEO professionals from their homeland. In these tough economic times many business owners feel that they should help their own economy and in turn their local SEO companies by using their services. This once again is detrimental to SEO companies based in India who are targeting western companies as their client base.
There are legitimate and ethical SEO professionals based in India but unfortunately they have been largely overshadowed by the unethical spam merchants. You can find trustworthy SEOs in India but just be careful and do your homework first because dodgy SEO will always get caught out and end up having very bad consequences for your website.
Sarah Blanchflower works for a local SEO company that provides SEO Northern Ireland services. Her company only works with clients from the UK and Ireland as they rely on local trust.