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    SEO by Indian companies - what's the difference?


    Hi guys, we are currently looking into hiring a seo company to work on our website. Got a number of quotes from companies both in the UK and India. Basically they are offering very similar proposals, but the difference in prices is quite astonishing.

    I understand "you get what you pay for", but does it apply in seo too? If the results from India are not much inferior to that from the UK, it would difficult to justify the higher investment.

    Have you any experience in working with Indian seo companies? Or recommendations?

    Thanks.

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    • jameshklark agrees
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  3. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by forgottenlife
    Hi guys, we are currently looking into hiring a seo company to work on our website. Got a number of quotes from companies both in the UK and India. Basically they are offering very similar proposals, but the difference in prices is quite astonishing.

    I understand "you get what you pay for", but does it apply in seo too? If the results from India are not much inferior to that from the UK, it would difficult to justify the higher investment.
    1. Straight Up - the East Indian economy is 4 times less than the Western world. You can buy a loaf of bread in the USA for $3.00 in India you can buy four or more for the same price. Thus, the overhead just to setup and run a business in the UK is much higher and all business start on the principle that they must, at the very least, pay their bills.

    2. You can do your own SEO at the same level as UK & India firms and under-cut both... but price isn't a sign of affordable quality.

    3. Task oriented services (I must build links, I must write content, I must do.... "____") hand down goes to the core Indian firm... but SEO is not a task oriented service and your service provider(s) must compete against Manual Reviews, PANDA and PENGUIN and core Indian firms have no answers to address this that are tied to "we are more affordable".

    4. Getting results is the first hurdle. The challenge all firms must compete at is "keeping results!"

    I guarantee the Indian firm will hands down beat any western firm in results for the same price but I also guarantee all Indian firms will get you banned, penalized, or devalued by that same degree for a much more affordable price... so as long as the discussion is purely about SEO results developing only and ignores quality control... India wins!

    The problem isn't them though... it's you.

    You're not one bit interested in service quality, as in, "making your website great!"

    Originally Posted by forgottenlife
    I understand "you get what you pay for", but does it apply in seo too? If the results from India are not much inferior to that from the UK, it would difficult to justify the higher investment.
    Anyone can manipulate results... so if that is what you are looking for go with the cheapest price... and toss your domain away when you get caught.

    Think of top search results like buying a home... price is intangible... you can have a shed on beach front property in the Florida Keys be far more expensive than a mansion situated between a hog farm, chicken farm and a waste dump.

    If neither UK or Indian firms discuss the building of your own Youtube or Pinterest or Facebook inside your domain... they are all worth less or worthless.

    Building something inside your domain that appeals to others - is SEO... everything else is just webspam... and thus Indian firms (at least) are offering webspam... I suspect so are the UK firms so "use at your own risk," (since you claim their offerings are similar) is my advice.

    Comments on this post

    • joshz agrees
    • SEO_AM agrees : The risk is too high.
    • santoshkumar agrees
    Last edited by fathom; Mar 27th, 2013 at 10:09 AM.
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  5. SEO Consultant
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    Don't forget the communication problems. That's the major issue I've seen with people coming to me. They love contact, phone calls, same day call backs, etc.
    www.V2INTERACTIVE.net - SEO Web Design | On-Page SEO | SEO Audits & Reports | Link Building
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    Please EMAIL me at the above address and do not send Private Messages. I rarely check them and your message will be lost.
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  7. B afraid.. B very afraid!
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    SEO today is totally different when it comes to building a backlink profile. In the past most everything could be and was tried. Those sites have been eaten by a Penguin. Today, a webmaster better be super careful on any SEO they put the future of their site under. I have used Indian site developers and SEOs when I lived in the Middle East, but they lived one mile from my villa. They did a great cost effective job under the search engine rules of that time. I would not use them, offshore SEO services, today no matter how much money it would save.
    ...Never mistake activity for achievement...

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    You can pick up coders and seos for a few dollars an hour in india and across the far east, no problem. I must say that india has a thriving IT sector and there are some really talented coders down there, however, the boys that send you and I spam emails about how cheap they are are to be avoided. I picked up a client who had an indian firm build and seo a site for him. He was looking for cheapest and got cheapest. In fact the site was never even properly finished due to communication issues, lack of understanding and some dispute over the bill. He wasnt even aware that he'd been supplied with a word press site until i told him. ( He lost all the money he spent.)

    I suggest you employ a local firm ( by that I mean in your country, and even better if within driving distance for a meet ). This way you can vet them, meet them, communicate with them and of course deal with them if they dont deliver. IMO an seo firm needs to have a good understanding of your requirements and your business in order to deliver what you want - you need to build trust, communications and relationships - seo is mostly a long haul project, so if you find a great firm you'll probably want to stick with them for years.

    But remember, its very easy to take your money from 1000s of miles away, not deliver and not worry about you knocking on the door. It would never be worth your while to try to recover the money either.

    Comments on this post

    • fathom agrees : A solid response!
    • SEO_AM agrees : My web developers are 15 minutes away. We meet often face-to-face.
    • realityhack agrees : Well put. Meeting face to face makes things much easier.
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    Thanks guys for your insight, gave us a lot to think about. We are aware of the points made above, especially regarding control and communications, and we certainly don't want any work done to the site that is detrimental.

    We have also met a few seo companies locally in the UK, some of them promise a lot while all the work is actually done in India on their behalf. I guess it's a case of finding the right company - if they could make this arrangement work ensure all work is carried out properly and accordingly, then good for them.
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    Originally Posted by forgottenlife
    We have also met a few seo companies locally in the UK, some of them promise a lot while all the work is actually done in India on their behalf. I guess it's a case of finding the right company - if they could make this arrangement work ensure all work is carried out properly and accordingly, then good for them.
    A coding issue can work in these circumstances, but you will find communication issues in your seo project with this set up. Passing through an intermediary or rep will give you an extra layer of complication, chinese whispers, time delay, and accountability will be passed from place to place. You need to be speaking to the engine driver not the oily rag - perhaps that wasn't a very good analogy :-).
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  15. What The Feck..
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    I disagree....Just because anyone had a bad experience doesn’t mean that all indian seo’s are bad. I have seen many WESTERN seo companies charging $1000 a month upward for meta tag optimization. I agree there are a lot of snake oil seo’s here but that doesn’t mean that everyone falls under the same category. The ratio of bad seo’s might be more but there are a lot of good one’s out there.....

    Everyone is part of the equation...People who look for cheap seo’s in india and india seo’s who work for cheap. If you do some research and know whom to choose on what basis then it is very unlikely you would ever encounter any problems.

    Comments on this post

    • realityhack agrees : Every area has Good and Bad SEO companies. Pure volume and ratios may vary but that is not the point.
    • new_seo agrees
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    Fathom have a very good point about the things that he mentioned. However, not all of the companies in India deserve the same fate. Some of the companies in USA, UK, and Canada used Indians as their back end for quite long time. Point taken that there are slight problem with the communications, but I believe they did a great part in some ways. One of the reason why they are a lot cheaper is that they know that they have limitations. Anyway, enough for the debate on who's the better SEO. Each company have their own specialization. It doesn't matter where their from, what matter is they can deliver results.

    As to the Forgottenlife's post. Maybe its best if you could tell us what specific industry you are in and what kind of competition you are dealing with. The company provider you are looking for also needs to consider a lot of factors in terms of "how fast" they can deliver. Please see below:

    1. Industry: There are a lot of saturated niches out there and you are probably belong to one of them.

    2. Competition: Who are your competitors? Do you have any idea what are they doing?

    3. Methodology: If you tell your provider to focus on SEO, they'll probably focus on it. Ideally, ask for a recommendation from a consultant on what is the best approach and what are the other avenues that you need to take to reach your goals. Don't fall for square SEO. links links links won't give you guarantee. Generally, a company who can give branding, rankings, and qualified leads.

    4. Budget: Before asking an SEO company. Do your own research first.

    Identify your competition.
    Do your own estimation in terms of marketing funds.
    What are your scope and limitations.
    Identify your target market.
    Set your own goals.
    The list can be endless..

    Keep in mind that in the world today, you get what you pay for. Selectively, look for a company that will take care of the company as a whole and not just your precious rankings.

    Comments on this post

    • forgottenlife agrees : I think it also very much depends on how you choose to communicate with the seo company, overseas or local
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    Depending upon your market keep in mind how important local or regional slang may be when the SEO company is creating content. An American company creating content for a British site might run into problems with that so you can certainly see where an Indian company would.

    In the end the best you can do is get references, and examples of work. Then follow up on those. Don't let them get away with giving you non-relevant references either. If you do 3 million in web sales their work on some guys page that does 4 thousand isn't relevant. Nor is their campaign for someone doing 300 million.
    Make sure the sites they claim to have done SEO for show up under terms YOU would use to look for them not just where they place for the specific term they optimized for. It's great to show up for "Best Kawasaki motorcycles in Portland" But if the same site is invisible on "motorcycle dealers in Portland" AND "Kawasaki dealers in Portland" AND "Portland Kawasaki dealers" it could be a real red flag.

    With any SEO company (but especially with an overseas one) I would not sign a contract that did not have an 'out' either at any time or after 30 days. You won't see results in 30 days... but you can often see serious communication problems, or other significant issues.

    Comments on this post

    • seonovustech agrees : Nice post!
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    As to the Forgottenlife's post. Maybe its best if you could tell us what specific industry you are in and what kind of competition you are dealing with. The company provider you are looking for also needs to consider a lot of factors in terms of "how fast" they can deliver. Please see below:
    Fathom, we are in the travel / vacation rentals industry (see our site Alpha Holiday Lettings), which is very competitive SEO-wise and unfortunately are up against big boys like Homeaway, Flipkey, Airbnb, etc.

    Identify your competition.
    Do your own estimation in terms of marketing funds.
    What are your scope and limitations.
    Identify your target market.
    Set your own goals.
    The list can be endless..
    Completely agrees with the above.
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    Make sure the sites they claim to have done SEO for show up under terms YOU would use to look for them not just where they place for the specific term they optimized for. It's great to show up for "Best Kawasaki motorcycles in Portland" But if the same site is invisible on "motorcycle dealers in Portland" AND "Kawasaki dealers in Portland" AND "Portland Kawasaki dealers" it could be a real red flag.
    To realityhack, this is exactly the problem we currently have. We rank consistantly 1st or 2nd on Bing & Yahoo on the term "holiday lettings", but are nowhere to be seen on other similar terms such as "holiday rentals" or "vacation rentals".

    We also struggle to get high rankings on Google, which we just couldn't figure out why. We are worried that other search engines may catch on with Google and we will lose our top rankings altogether. Any suggestions?

    Cheers guys.
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  25. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by forgottenlife
    Fathom, we are in the travel / vacation rentals industry (see our site Alpha Holiday Lettings), which is very competitive SEO-wise and unfortunately are up against big boys like Homeaway, Flipkey, Airbnb, etc.

    Completely agrees with the above.
    Much of this is completely immaterial to the SEO other than "INCREASE PRICES". You are going to have a difficult time finding any SEO that is bred for travel / vacation rentals industry that affords you to compete with the "BIG BOYS" without BIG POCKETS yourself so the SEO Practitioner can hire in or outsource those abilities.

    Thus the cultural difference... East Indians cannot (almost always) claim to be "WHITEHAT" at $1000/month (or less) unless they are losing money.
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  27. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by forgottenlife
    To realityhack, this is exactly the problem we currently have. We rank consistantly 1st or 2nd on Bing & Yahoo on the term "holiday lettings", but are nowhere to be seen on other similar terms such as "holiday rentals" or "vacation rentals".

    We also struggle to get high rankings on Google, which we just couldn't figure out why. We are worried that other search engines may catch on with Google and we will lose our top rankings altogether. Any suggestions?

    Cheers guys.
    If you want to drive Google results go where you competitors are not!

    Start a "Win a free holiday rental" once per month and a "free vacation rental once per month" (thus total of two/month)... the buzz from such campaigns will drive you to the top making the cost of your advertising absolutely "PEANUTS" for the return.

    HUGE RISK! BUT GREATER REWARDS!
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    Fathom is dead on.

    Of course you rank on "holiday lettings" but not on "holiday rentals" The entire US and possibly other countries would never search for "lettings" (I would not know the meaning without context) so you will have vastly decreased competition... and traffic.

    Also, have you considered doing some conversion rate optimization? Frankly your site took forever to load just to show me a busy screen I would click off of even if I was planning a vacation to nowhereistan.

    I agree with Fathom that you may be better off using other approaches. Make sure you consult an attorney before any giveaways and especially before any referral rewards. There are legalities to be aware of.

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