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non competence

can we optimize for competition after contract over

     
4:45 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi,
I had a potential client ask me to include a clause stating that I would not SEO any website in his field even after our initial contract has expired. I dont believe that is justified, but I would like to know your opinions. Anyone else come across this problem?
Vishal.
4:56 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I consider this to be an abusive clause. You have to right to work, and you have the right to cumulate expertise in any given field of activity. If he wants exclusivity, it can be negociated ($$$).

I never take non-competing clauses of any kind, and never talk about my clients, to clients.

<added> I curently have 3 clients on first page of Google for a given query, and I can live with that. ;) </added>

8:59 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does that mean you can push one above the over for a few $$$ then likewise for the one that just got dropped down a peg ;)
9:06 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sure, just ask him to keep paying you for all that time you are "non-competing".
9:08 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think some kind of monthly retainer would be appropriate if such a clause was desired.
9:51 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I can see the client's point of view. As someone privy to sensitive confidential information, you are in a position to do them quite a bit of commercial harm.

It's one thing to be a gun for hire to the highest bidder, and another to be a businessperson with a sense of eithics, one who can be trusted with confidential information.

It's tricky balancing the need$ of Numero Uno, and minding your client's business.

10:16 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Following up on martinibuster - if this contract is valuable to you, perhaps offer a non-compete contract for the duration of the contract and perhaps for six months / 1 year after the contract expires. That way, you keep the client happy, but you are not restricted from working in that field forever.
11:26 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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From the little bit of research I did (phone call to a lawyer buddy) I understand that a garden variety NCA has a lifespan of about a year.
6:05 am on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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thanks for the replies. They have been really helpful.
2:45 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>Does that mean you can push one above the over for a few $$$ then likewise for the one that just got dropped down a peg

davemarks,

When I do a traffic report to clients, it always ends by recommendations in order to reach for the top. The decision to follow or not to follow recommendations is theirs, not mine.

>>It's one thing to be a gun for hire to the highest bidder, and another to be a businessperson with a sense of eithics, one who can be trusted with confidential information.

martinibuster,

I dont see me as a gun for hire to the highest bidder, and I believe I do have a sense of ethics. Lets not confuse a non competing clause and a non disclosure clause. They are totally different.

See message # 2

and never talk about my clients, to clients.

Most of my clients are web agencies. They all compete on the same ground and all have clients competing on the same grounds. Once again, I just tell them wich amount of effort is necessary to achieve results. If they decide to make the effort or not is their decision.

3:00 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi Macguru

I never said you were a gun for hire. If you review my post you will see that I not only didn't mention you, I didn't even address anything you stated.

That's no accident: I was addressing the question of the original post, and nothing and nobody else.

The analogy of a "gun for hire" is just that, an analogy that serves as a counterpoint to the ethical businessman, which I have absolutely no doubt that you are.

But I apologize if anyone misinterpreted my statement because Macguru is one of the shining lights at webmasterworld, let there be no mistake about it.

:) Y

[edited by: martinibuster at 3:09 am (utc) on May 16, 2003]

3:08 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi martinibuster,

Sorry for that. English is not my native language and this can play tricks on me, sometimes.

Plus, this topic is one of my hot buttons that has been recently poked on.

>>one of the shining lights

When he doesn't blow a fuze... ;)

Cheers!

2:53 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yes it's an issue. I know some of my peers who have rejected SEO Projects bcoz of this issue. It's a decision you have to make depending on the renumeration package being provided as well as your own instincts. HTH.

{gun for hire ... i would take that as a compliment ;) }