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Another Example Of Outsourcing Perils

I had a nasty shock recently after skimming over an article on web development when I read the author's bio. Glancing at the image depicting the author, I was taken aback when I recognized it as that of a murdered Australian schoolgirl.
 
The reason I recognized the girl in the image is that it was such a high profile case in Australia and reasonably recent. 
  

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I was at a loss as to why an Australian web development/SEO company would do such a thing; because one thing is certain, the girl in the image did not write that article; nor any of the others where her image appeared. Aside from anything else, the articles were published long after her death; one as recently as a couple of weeks prior.
  
A couple of possibilities spring to mind. The first, perhaps their profile was hacked, but given what else I uncovered after digging around, I doubt this to be the case.
 
The more likely reason (in my opinion) is the company involved outsourced their article submissions. I'm guessing they hired one of the many cheap overseas services that carry our marketing related tasks, and whoever performed the submission grabbed the girl's image at random from the web to use an an author image, not knowing the tragic circumstances in which she died. 
 
I would find it hard to believe someone in-house would have done this as it is essentially credibility suicide for the company. It's bad enough to steal any person's likeness and use it in such a way, but to use that particular image.. wow.

If this was indeed the case, what makes it a little more frightening is as the company is engaged in providing SEO services, there is a possibility a similar fate could be awaiting one of their clients - as article marketing is often a part of SEO services.

Outsourcing certainly has its place. There is also still a place for article marketing, chasing links, posting comments on blogs and such as a way to build links - but web site and online business owners need to be very, very, very careful who they outsource this work to if they aren't going to do it themselves.

Remember these link-builders, comment posters and such are people are representing your business and if you outsource overseas, what you pay for is often what you get. Every day I weed out spam comments from companies that use these services. They are usually of very poor quality and this reflects badly on the business.

Even if you outsource to a local marketing company, demand to know who is going to be doing the work - will it be someone local from within the company, or will they subcontract the work overseas so the local company can maximize their profits - which happens all too often these days.
 

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Failing to closely monitor what these services are doing in your name could have some very nasty consequences for your company. Bear in mind too that if you have to monitor a "cheap" service so closely, you would be better off paying the extra money to a provider you can trust that will carry out these tasks in a responsible way that bolsters your business, not bring it down.

Related:

Cheap backlink packages are often just backlink spam

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
http://www.tamingthebeast.net 
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