SEO contracts in the UK

We are finding that SEO contracts are becoming more and more common. SEO or "search engine optimization" is a must-have service for most internet businesses these days. As internet lawyers, we’re often asked to prepare SEO contracts for our SEO clients or to review SEO terms and conditions which have been provided to our clients who are SEO customers.

From the SEO provider viewpoint, the SEO contract is an agreement to provide SEO services. For an SEO company, probably the most critical aspect of an SEO agreement is the need for a careful description of the SEO services and in particular to avoid too wide a guarantee of results.

The rise of SEO services has inevitably brought with it an increase in SEO legal disputes. Internet solicitors see a lot of these. Usually the customer is disappointed with the SEO results. When that happens, the internet lawyers acting for the customer will crawl over the SEO contract, and indeed the associated correspondence and documents, looking for a flaw, perhaps an over-generous guarantee of Google placement made in the contract or preceding discussions, perhaps a failure to limit liability effectively. Optimistic promises, whether on SEO websites, in marketing literature or in emails encouraging customers to close the deal, can come back to haunt the SEO company unless adequately dealt with in the SEO contract.

If SEO providers are keen to give guarantees, whether in SEO contracts or elsewhere, these need to be carefully conditioned. For example, full co-operation from the customer will be required. The customer mustn’t change the website or source code without the SEO provider’s clearance. The SEO agreement should prevent the customer from doing any website link-building itself or at least the customer shouldn’t be allowed to place inbound links on websites in "bad neighbourhoods". SEO terms and conditions should also protect the SEO company if, say, inbound links which it has placed are later removed from the third party site (provided not the SEO provider’s fault) – especially where the SEO company is promising to create a particular number of website inbound links within a certain timescale. And so on.

SEO customers, of course, look at these issues through the other end of the telescope. They may feel that if the SEO terms and conditions are too one-sided towards the SEO provider, then what comfort do they have that their returns will justify the – perhaps substantial – monthly SEO fees?

How Adlex Solicitors can help with SEO contracts or SEO terms and conditions ...

... for a free initial chat and more information, contact internet lawyer Adam Taylor on +44 (0) 207 317 8404 or email.

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