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Is it worth buying a link building package from an SEO company?

My maibox is awash with spam emails from Indian companies selling me a link building service. But today, my daily does of spam was accompanied by a rather sad little Tweet saying a Nottingham search marketing professional had been made redundant from her local web design agency.

And she was contemplating the influx of cheap SEO services from India.  Indeed, go to Google and search for SEO India and you’ll find dozens of companies advertising cheap link building packages.

Small businesses are tempted to buy these cheap services, but there is nothing new under the sun, and as they say “you get what you pay for.”  Cheap service could well mean cheap links, which  won’t help your rankings, and could possible do harm.

We all know that inbound links influence your rankings in Google.  But it isn’t the quantity of links, it’s the quality that does the influencing.

Every week I see examples of small business web sites that are ranking well in Google for their desired key phrases, they haven’t been playing the SEO game, and the site has only a few inbound links.  Lurking in that list of links, however, will be the one or two golden links that are doing all the influencing of the results:  trustworthy, authoritative, relevant sites linking in.  These links arise naturally because of the business’ position in the community.

Will an SEO consultant in India be able to get you links from your local borough council?  From your local university?  From your professional association or accrediting bodies?  Will the get you coverage in the BBC or Forbes or your professional press?

Be as careful in making the decision to use an Indian SEO company, as you would be careful in buying any service in the UK.

They all describe themselves as providing “ethical link building” – which should alert you to the fact that unethical link building will do more harm than good.

A quick survey of clients listed on some Indian firms are showing potentially poor quality link building activities. I took a look at their reference sites, and here is an example of the kinds of reciprocal links pages they are currently building.  Think nasty, cheap link exchanging at its worst:

India Link Building SEO service

India Link Building SEO service

My advice? Buyer Beware.

Google is looking for high quality links, and my first port of call would be to get a through understanding of the authoritative sites in your sector. Getting just a few perfect links will far outweigh dozens or hundreds of scammy, useless links.  You are probably better off using a professional, local SEO for just a few hours than getting into a long term contract with an offshore SEO firm.

Use a PR agency that has a sound understanding of how Google works to improve your profile, and drive visitors and links at the same time.  I believe PR agencies are better at link building than web designers and more likely to get you those all important quality links than a foreign agency.

And finally, remember that Google has a long memory.  What might be considered “ethical” but sailing close to the wind might get you slapped or banned by Google as it tweaks and adjusts its ranking algorithm.

12 responses to “Link building services from India”

  1. David Clarke says:

    I thoroughly agree with this post. Beware! Some UK companies offer link building services but outsource to India. It’s quality not quantity.

  2. Chris says:

    I am afraid this is a trite post awash with many tired SEO cliches and obvious “money for old rope” style information.

    It is also backed up with no evidence, and happens to be a flacid, marginally racist and ignorant thought leadership post with which I am thoroughly disgusted.

    The primary reason many of these services are so cheap is down to the cost of living in their particular geographic area. It is fear that enables such opinions as this to thrive. Fear of Globalization, fear of loss of business. Instead of lashing out ( like a politician ), one would do well to evolve. Caveat Emptor is advice that should be used regardless of which company you choose to do business with. A UK company does NOT instantly gain more credibility than an Indian company, as your post would suggest.

    Additionally, check out the numerous resources online regarding how to prevent your email address from being harvested. This may assist such hatemongering from manifestation in the future.

    In the land of the Blind, the one eyed Woman is Queen.

  3. Eli the Link Builder says:

    Caveat Emptor is the primary rule whenever dealing with SEO services of any kind. That’s not to say there aren’t really good, legitimate and competent providers out there, but they are probably a minority since most of them try to cut costs as much as possible, meaning they outsource to various foreign countries. That’s a rule worldwide, so keep an eye out and do research before buying, just like a good consumer.

  4. price compare says:

    I would never purchase or recommend anyone to use a indian linkbuilding firm. they are so careless they place backlinks with any company.

  5. Terry says:

    This is an absolutely terrible article and is backed up with no proof. The reason link building is so successful and ripe in India is because of economies, the same reason why call centres are outsourced to India.

    This is a typical attitude of UK agencies who as Chris correctly points will do anything to get their slice of the cake. Let’s see some positive solid link building advice, rather than an ill thought out scaremongering approach.

  6. I have been using a freelance link builder in India for the past three months for some micor sites as a bit of and experiment. I would have preferred a UK person but all the quotations were for £15 per link and minimum 6 month contracts. I pay about £100 for 350 links from the freelance person on India. Running a report indicates that they are good quality. However I would avoid a Indian company as you cannot control the quality.

    Discuss?

  7. car mats says:

    I use an Indian SEO agency, and have found them to be very thorough. Okay, the quality of links I’m gaining is not exceptional, but I employ them for volume, not quality, and this was agreed upfront with the agency prior to commencement.

    On the above note, dont try to tell me that it is ALL about quality. A combination of link volume and a smaller number of great quality links is the best tactic, and has been proven time and time again.

    As long as all parties are clear from the start, and deliver what they promise, I see no problem.

  8. I used an Indian SEO agency before , and have found them to be very thorough.
    The quality of links I’m gaining is not exceptional, but I employ them for volume, not quality, and this was agreed upfront with the agency prior to commencement.

  9. Rocky says:

    Actually are you are putting all Indian SEO vendors in the same coins which is not true. India is a major IT hub for outsourcing including search engine marketing. The reason is nothing but inexpensive talent. Regarding the word “cheap services” its for the people who cant avail the most inexpensive SEO services in UK etc. so that’s why they have to turn to India. But this doesnot mean that they are not getting anything from the cheap services. We do have a big client base in UK and we are offering our packages in almost 20% of what is sold in UK. The question to bring in focus who is using the black hat methods and promising to bring in ranks quickly, you and others should be shocked as mostly they are from companies not operating in India.

    Thanks

  10. I see the “link buildling from India” debate rumbles along…

    First, can I confess this article was initially written as part of an SEO exercise in order to get visibility in front of potential UK customers searching for the phrase “Link building services India”. By the volume of comments, traffic to the page, and rankings it appears to be working.

    Second, I agree with Rocky that it unfair to lump all Indian SEO companies together in any respect, whether as providing unethical serivces, or being cheap, or any other attribute. But, after all, it is oury blog which we use as both an educational and marketing tool, and I positively welcome eedback and your discussion.

    And finally, whether Indian or Bulgarian or American, I firmly believe that an overseas company will NOT have the local knowledge required to get essential high quality links, which are even more important in light of the Google Penguin update. It truly is NOT about volume of links, but (as always) about relevance and quality.

    My final thoughts? Always check the reputation and background of any SEO service provider, UK or Indian or any nationality. Get references from other companies. And beware of anything that looks quick and easy when it comes to SEO, because it most certainly will come back to haunt you!

  11. Hi Susan,
    I don’t understand why one needs link building services at all. I don’t mean to offend any service providers, but my point is that building links is not that hard. Just requires patience and a little work. Not all companies are bad and at the same time not all companies are good, so if one must go for paid link building, then it ought to be good because Google is growing smarter with its algorithms for detecting low quality & spam links. I have tried some companies, both from India & outside, but frankly none of their results lasted after the Panda update.

    Regards,
    Anirudh Bahadur

    P.S. Nice tips & advice! I followed you on Twitter. Hoping to read some more interesting articles from you.

  12. Ritu says:

    This article is pointing to a very very very wrong direction. We do not have any right to blame any company in any country without any evidence. All UK based companies are not good enough as well. I agree with Chris, its cheap because of the cost of living and I guess currency conversion. If u r earning in pounds, then to afford any service is in rupees is always gonna be cheaper. So please dont point to any country. If u had any bad experience with any company, do not generalise it.

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