What Unpaid SEOs Do To Get Paid

Sep 27, 2013 • 8:19 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Engine Industry News

SEO Paid - click for full sizeEver wonder what SEO companies are likely to do when they don't get paid by their clients?

Well, we wondered and decided to ask the question a few months ago. Now with 350 responses in, I wanted to share the diverse set of answers.

Question: What Do You Do If You Don't Get Paid For SEO Work?

  • 27%: Keep Sending Statements/Invoices/Letters To Client
  • 25%: Use A Lawyer or Collection Agency
  • 25%: Take Back Work and/or Remove Links
  • 17%: Harm The Client's Site (Negative SEO or Reputation Management)
  • 6%: Nothing

Here are some of the cute "other" answers:

Find competitor to work for

Require 100% payment upfront

Disclaimer: Please see my poll disclaimer post before coming to any conclusions on these results.

Forum discussion continued at Black Hat World.

This post was written earlier this week and scheduled to be posted today.

Previous story: SEOs: Large Web Sites Rank Better In Google


Martin Oxby

09/27/2013 12:25 pm

Finding a competitor to work for won't get the original bill paid. Doing harm to a client's site has the potential to damage your own reputation as an SEO, which is not good for business. It's really frustrating in services - you wouldn't walk into a shop and take something yet stealing time seems OK to people. Effectively some of these have a 'double cost'- not being paid plus paying a lawyer to chase, or losing more time chasing. To add from our experience, we get a better (more positive relationally as well as financially) by phoning the client rather than just sending e-mails which might be 'not received' or 'caught by Spam filters'.


09/27/2013 12:56 pm

Have a contract written by a good lawyer (they can be expensive, but they are worth your time when crafting the contract). The client refuses to make payment? Well, client, meet the lawyer who wrote the contract and who is now here to make sure the debt is paid. The best part is, a good contract lawyer will also be good at ensuring that they get paid...from the client who refused payment and who just got grilled. Lawyers: because everyone needs their own soulless monster sometimes.


09/27/2013 02:12 pm

You get a writ at the high court and send in the sheriffs. I saw it on TV and everything. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01q0q9s/The_Sheriffs_Are_Coming_Series_2_Episode_4/ Seriously amusing to look at the guy's bookmarks. "An introduction to Penguin" LOL.

Charles Rein

09/27/2013 03:33 pm

It is a part of the VALUE system. The difference between a programmer who charges $50.00/hr and the Guy form IBM being billed at $300.00/hr. People don't see immediate results and think that the work was easy or that they didn't see value. So make sure that your invoice and services are well explained, then keep billing and maybe go to collectors for some recovery.

Multimedia Marketing

09/28/2013 01:20 am

Just get you money up front ( or at least half). If this is a problem for the client then it is a giant red flag. Why waste your time after the fact with all that extra time and hassle. If I know the client well then I will bill them after the work is done. The very first project I always get paid up front.

Friv Jogos

09/28/2013 03:12 am

Pretty short, but we can understand and feel it most easily.

Patriotic Indian

09/30/2013 04:44 am

some advance payment is must. I don't start any work before i get the advance payment


10/01/2013 10:33 am

SEO companies have authority to take action against their clients if they will not pay.

Jacob Wadsworth

10/03/2013 09:57 pm

There should be a clear terms and agreements of the company and the client to make sure that these things do not happen to anyone. It should be clearly stated that SEOs have every right to sue or file a complaint against the client at times when it is badly needed. - http://www.defiancemarketing.com/

Spook SEO

01/01/2014 08:15 am

Every person responds in different ways on the same thing if I had to face the same situation then I will try to remind him again and again but if he will not respond appropriately then I will give him back feedback or ruin his online reputation.

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