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Why do Clients Ask About Optimization Ownership?
Is it something from the industry's past?

 2:58 pm on Jun 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

I know years ago, in the infancy of the SEO industry - there were many illegitimate service providers. They specialized in spamming the heck out of sites and did produce good rankings.

When things began to become more intense, and required actual knowledge - many of these companies then switched to doorway pages and other approaches of the same technique.

I ask this, because the thread regarding the web design ownership raised the questions in my head... Anyways, if you are paid as a service provider to produce optimized content - it should be an integral part of your clients site.

If this is how the industry truly works, why is it so many potential clients are concerned with who owns the actual optimized content? For me, it seems like a question I answer on the phone multiple times daily.

Anyone faced with this? Any ideas as to why the general clientele is so worried about this in particular? Just some food for thought, and obviously discussion.



 3:03 pm on Jun 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think it just comes down to money. SEO, having a reputation like you mentioned, represents a risky investment for most companies. They want to know if they will lose everything they paid for if they break up with you, so to speak.

But maybe there are different points of view on this? Anyone know firms that claim total ownership of their work? Seems like it would be hard to get a contract that way.


 3:16 pm on Jun 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

"why the general clientele is so worried about this in particular"

Although not as common as in the past.. There still are SEO's that use contracts that allow them to retain ownership of optimized content. It's most common with companies that do all the optimization on a different domain and then just forward the traffic to the client.


 4:40 pm on Jun 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

>SEO's that use contracts that allow them to retain ownership of optimized content

Right, because clients also have a past history of terminating SEO services once the site is positioned.


 9:04 pm on Jun 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Right, because clients also have a past history of terminating SEO services once the site is positioned.

once they've got what they want, why should they keep employing you and paying you? we could come up with endless reasons why, but at this point, the client is happy, feels the job is done, and doesn't see the need to continue paying.

what SEO people need to do is provide one contract for the main optimisation service to the point where the site is optimised and promoted and the clients feel that the job is done, and an additional contract for ongoing work, further optimisation and promotion, quarterly reviews, management of paid listings or whatever.

SEO people need to provide convincing arguements for site owners to continue employing their SEO companies. SEO people need to make the site owner truly believe that only half the job is done, that continued employment of their SEO company is worthwhile and will bring even greater benefits.

if the client wants to terminate, the SEO company has not convinced the client.


 11:14 pm on Jun 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

Crazy_Fool makes some great points. IMHO SEO can only work on an ongoing basis as engines, portals, algos, filters and alliances change daily.

Explain that in detail to a client.


 10:16 am on Jun 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

dont forget that although a site may be optimised and is now ranking in top spot, what happens when the competition see that? they could very well optimise their site too, and in a few months, the site you did will have dropped down the rankings.

SEO people need to be good not only at SEO, but at sales too.


 7:01 am on Jun 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

SEO in my opinion can be attacked two ways that I know of:

1. Optimize the pages and give them to your client for a one time charge.
2. Using some sort of spider-trapping technique, have the search engine go to an optimized page on your server that either links to or directly forwards to your client's site for a service fee that is recurring.

This being said,
I don't see the need to retain any kind of ownership of content in either scenario.


 1:10 pm on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)


Agreed, I don't think that ownership of legit SEO really matters to the SEO providers, or shouldn't. While we often like to think that SEO is some sort of sacred level of rocket science, it isn't. It's just knowing the rules and making sure everything you do is documented and accepted by the engines you target.

Crazy_Fool, you bring up some excellent points - and are absolutely right about the sales experience being there. For a long time, our organization suffered that because of an inadequate sales staff. Now, it's not an issue.

I guess it still perplexes me as to why it is some clientele and potential clients always ask. Certainly, there are still some parts of the SEO process that seem to be "in the dark" to the consumer market.

To get back to your point Crazy_Fool, it is almost something along the lines of supply and demand. When the rankings are not there - the demand is high. When they appear, suddenly the need (from the consumer's eye) is gone.

Perhaps I can start getting others here in on this idea too, to prevent further things of this nature.

Thank you all for your input!

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