The 2008 US Presidential election campaign may very well feature outsourcing as one of the important debates; however, it would be wrong to assume that only telemarketing or programming jobs are outsourced. Search marketing jobs are also outsourced to low-cost labor destinations.
The trend started in early 2002 after the dot-com bust and before the Google IPO. People started realizing the importance of search engine optimization and how large a role it can play in growing an online business. The first set of entrepreneurs used search engines like Google and AltaVista to check for individuals or companies based in countries like India and the Philippines who could handle SEO projects. It is around this time that a few SEO agencies also started outsourcing link building projects (which are very labor-intensive) to companies in India.
However, the results were mixed. As expected, along with the genuine companies, there were some fraudsters who were out to make a quick buck on the Internet. In cases where people got burned, there was no legal recourse as these fraudsters were based outside the United States and required payment via wire transfer or a Western Union money transfer.
But the basic logic of outsourcing is fundamentally strong and can be a sound business practice. So what began as an experiment five years ago is now a full-fledged industry. But is cost the only driving factor for outsourcing?