Poll: SEO Clients Not Paying? What Do You Do?

Jul 19, 2013 • 8:32 am | comments (32) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEM / SEO Companies

past dueA BlackHat Forum thread has a topic that comes up every now and then - what do you do if your client is not paying you for SEO work you've done?

What if you write all this content, do the SEO audit, place the links, do the keyword research, give them the ranking reports or whatever SEOs do, you provide. What if the client simply does not pay you.

SEOs are powerful people and typically you do not want to mess with SEOs. They can cause major damage to your web site, to your online reputation, or worse. But will you take it that far?

I am curious what most SEOs, big and small, do when they have a client that simply won't pay up.

Here is my poll:

Forum discussion at BlackHat Forum.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for past due man

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gregory smith

07/19/2013 12:53 pm

I don't understand clients like these. Just had one to quit on me after the 1st month. lol Why would a client pay 500$ for that first month then quit on month #2? Makes no since...

Martin Oxby

07/19/2013 12:59 pm

Impatience and a lack of understanding of the role and outcome of SEO.

Mike Mike

07/19/2013 01:47 pm

Or is the reason there is to many SEO scammers out there ? These companies take our money and never helps there site. I do understand that results won't come over night. I have used a company qualifiedimpressions.com for a year I was ranking top of second page of google for most keywords they changed my content and did link building and social bookmarks and now I am almost unfound. Don't be taken


07/19/2013 03:20 pm

"SEOs are powerful people and typically you do not want to mess with SEOs. They can cause major damage to your web site, to your online reputation, or worse." Really ? What kind of "major damage" could it be ? Will they spam the email boxes worldwide with the link proposals ? Or will they spam every blog on the planet with the damageable advises to mislead the IT industry in general ? Or will they stop asking stupid questions all around ? Oh, yeah ... It will be a huge damage, if they will stop their conferences ... What IT industry will do then ? Barry, it's understandable, that SEOs are your main consumers, but be reasonable. Make them go higher, don't go lower to their levels.


07/19/2013 03:27 pm

And by the way, negative SEO is a myth. You should know that, pretending to be the SEO guru.

Ralf Skirr

07/19/2013 05:00 pm

Mostly it will happen when clients mistakenly expect immediate results. It's our responsibility to educate them and manage client expectations. (Although, sometimes they don't listen.) But I've also had clients who simply signed up for a recurring service that they actually couldn't afford.


07/19/2013 05:23 pm

You pretend you're working, clients pretend they are paying. Fair deal.

Pawel Gontarek

07/19/2013 07:23 pm

I'd like to mark 2 answers :(

Kyle Eggleston

07/19/2013 10:39 pm

No, it is not a myth. Back up your claims with something more substantial than just trolling comments.

Kyle Eggleston

07/19/2013 10:41 pm

Are you experiencing a heat wave where you're at, or is there some other reason why you can't give a coherent argument? SEO's have the power to remove your entire website from Google. Overnight. Do you understand, or should I draw you a picture?

Al Johnson

07/19/2013 10:42 pm

Just curious, are you a native English speaker?


07/19/2013 11:35 pm

You kill them of course


07/20/2013 02:18 am

Backed up at least twice here. Use the search. Ask Barry how to.


07/20/2013 02:21 am

Yeaaaaaah, sure you have the power. You're very strong and smart boy.

Kyle Eggleston

07/20/2013 02:26 am

Strong, no... boy, no. I do understand search engines, though. And know enough to see that you don't know what you're talking about.


07/20/2013 02:32 am

Sure, I see ... You even have your "personal server" ... Hm, but still employee ... even with the "personal server" (

Kyle Eggleston

07/20/2013 02:34 am

You dont make any sense... at all.


07/20/2013 02:38 am

Well, the most important you do ... you're have the power and personal server !

Kyle Eggleston

07/20/2013 02:38 am

Whatever you say. Just know that I got a laugh out of talking with you.


07/20/2013 02:43 am

Oh, so now you have power, personal server and good mood ... Perfect ... Good for you ) Take your time ... your boss is waiting for you on Monday )

Kyle Eggleston

07/20/2013 04:21 am

Like i said, whatever you say. I have people waiting for me because I know what I'm talking about (and i get paid $$$ for it).


07/20/2013 12:42 pm

Glad to hear you got your pocket money ...


07/20/2013 01:14 pm

SEOs are dangerous, very very dangerous .... such a power. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BaUWOyW8Lw

Kyle Eggleston

07/20/2013 06:26 pm

Also intelligence


07/20/2013 07:09 pm

I dress in a clown costume and turn up at their offices and politely ask for my money. Usually does the trick.


07/22/2013 06:27 am

If we do negative SEO, then they should spend more than our payment to recover from. But actual case is that as an SEO expert I'm not able to do Negative SEO

Sanket Patel

07/22/2013 09:01 am

If you have done positive SEO but it happens client won't satisfy with it. As SEO have so many parameters! Just fulfill the exact requirement of client and show the output that makes you worth to paid easily.

Anmol Andore

07/23/2013 01:21 pm

i will kill all of them :p but actually i know i cant....

Nick Ker

08/02/2013 07:44 pm

Can you prove that negative SEO does exist? It is nearly impossible to prove something does not exist.

Nick Ker

08/02/2013 07:49 pm

"Two dollars!" http://youtu.be/RB6wQxugJn4


08/13/2013 10:05 pm

You right a clause in your contact stating you will charge them an additional fee for every day that they are late.


05/23/2014 10:58 am

If my frustration comes out as rudeness, please forgive me. If I had family and friends who were in a position to hire web developers, I would have done this already. If someone is asking this question, I would think it's because they don't have that option. In my case, I'm an immigrant and I have zero family. I have some friends, but they are poor and with a very limited network themselves. How do you get your first clients when you're not "in" with a group of people that includes possible clients? I'm going to networking meetings and trade shows to hand out business cards, but I'm unable to get "in" with the crowd. I have short fleeting conversations with strangers, but I don't meet them enough to build a relationship which would make them trust me enough to hire me. I have a portfolio website but I can't even get "in" enough that anyone actually goes to it to look at what I can do. I imagine most people asking this question have a similar situation. How do you get your first client when you don't have a network? go here

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