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SEO Non-compete

February 4, 2009
Jill,

What do you think about a potential SEO client who asks you to agree not to work with any related company for 2 years after the conclusion of the business relationship?

Do you ever sign that kind of agreement?

Thanks!

Pete

++Jill's Response++

Hi Pete,

I haven't typically been asked to do that, but might sign it depending on the circumstances. If it is a niche where you think you might get additional clients, there may be an opportunity to charge an extra exclusivity fee. So while you may not ordinarily want to sign something like that, if the client is willing to pay for it, it might be worth your while.

But honestly, if the project is a big one and you're being compensated well, you may just want to sign it, no strings attached. It can sometimes be perceived as a bit sleazy if you compete with your own work. It really depends on what the industry is, and how closely related the 2nd client's website is to the first.

If you do sign it, my recommendation would be to make sure it's very specific in what sort of client you can and can't take later. Have that spelled out clearly and have an attorney check it out too.

Jill
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Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO Services company.

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