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Linking to yourself on a client site is not SEO

UPDATE: I don’t want anybody to think that I am saying it is wrong to have a client link to your site. My only point is that it should be done with permission and that when people are looking to hire an SEO they should not consider an SEO good just because they rank for SEO terms. I am mostly talking about local SEO terms.

One thing I have noticed is that a lot of SEO’s and web designers put a link on all their clients’ sites to themselves. They then turn around and try to claim to be good at SEO because they rank locally for seo or web design. That is not SEO. Most of the time it is not even ethical because they do not tell their clients what they are doing. They also then turn around and send a link to their clients to help them rank. I’m not saying that putting links on your client’s site is wrong I’m just saying it does not make you good at SEO. Some of the people that rank for top SEO terms suck at SEO. It is not hard to rank for a term in your own industry specially if you do a lot public speaking and write a book. It is hard is to get a client in a different area than you are and get them to rank for a hard non-local 2 word phrase. When choosing an SEO do not be impressed by the fact that they rank for SEO terms. Check their back links and see if they have a ton of links just from clients.

[tags]seo, backlinks, search engine optimization, search, search engine, web design, back links, local search, website, web site [/tags]

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jason June 25, 2007, 9:45 pm

    I agree in theory I think if your hired to do seo work and you put in links you should either tell the client or put it into your work agreement or contract

  • Shayari June 26, 2007, 12:29 am

    Yes its quite easier for designers and SEO’s to rank well on search engines by putting their links on their clients website.

    Its quite unfortunate that search engines rank website which have high backlinks. New sites with good content are nowhere.

  • NeO July 4, 2007, 12:59 pm

    While I agree that putting your link on a clients site is… well unsavory to say the least…

    I’ll disagree about ranking for SEO term’s (I rank for quite a few, haven’t written a book, and don’t link to my site on clients’)

    If your looking to bring traffic into your firm via the net you pretty much need to rank for your desired key phrases! Not to say that it’s hard if your any good at SEO ;)



  • ogletree July 4, 2007, 9:13 pm

    Ne0 I used the word some not all. There are some people that rank for SEO terms that don’t do this. I was just pointing out that I know some who do. I was also talking more about local SEO terms.

  • Billy July 8, 2007, 3:17 pm

    If a website was done pro bono, then by all means leave your link on the client site. However, if a client had paid money for the design or development, then it is kind of frowned upon to have a link on their site whether is it in the footer or deep in their content pages. Clients need to be more savvy to indicate to the hired designers that they don’t want to drive traffic to an unrelated website; and the designers need to be more honest as well.

  • Ryan July 9, 2007, 12:30 pm

    A website is no different than a newspaper or magazine ad, the only difference being the medium used. Do you see any reference to the ad agency involved with creating the ad in printed media? Not usually. But if an agreement is reached between site owner and designer to place the link and even a reciprocal link from the designer’s site to promote the new site’s PR, then by all means link away.

  • First Page Fitness July 10, 2007, 12:49 pm

    “I say to people who are looking for a SEO company that they should look at the company’s client site’s rankings, not the company’s own rankings…”

    Amen – couldn’t agree more. Also, there are many good independent SEOs out there who DON’T rank well for SEO terms because they spend all of their time working on their clients’ sites. Look at what they do for their clients and you can’t really go wrong. Send the clients an email and ask them how happy they are with the services.

    With that said, there is nothing wrong with putting SEO by … in the footer of your clients’ site if you have specific permission to do so. Often, the client will ask if you will drop the price of services for the link. But I would advise against site-wides.

  • Joe October 27, 2007, 12:49 am

    Too often, web deisgners, SEOs and other Internet-related companies focus on themselves before the needs of their clients. Try to imagine the logo of a video production house emblazend on a client’s TV commercial?? It is simply not done. Yet, on the web, it is standard procedure.

    That said, it IS SEO, because it is used for that purpose and, to a degree, it works. If the client agrees to it, fine. Many of my clients are so happy about their results, they offer entire pages on their site for me to promote my company. I generally decline, though because they pay me to focus on results for their company. To use that space for my purpose will, in my opinion, dilute their message.

    As an SEO, I am unique, however. I don’t do a lot of the things typical SEOs do. And, if the client doesn’t increase revenue, or phone calls, or foot traffic, or whatever the goal, I feel that I failed–even if I acheived top rankings.

    Finally, its about content. I have worked for pretty prominent SEO firms. They all preferred that I do very little writing and editing or other “wastes of time” that keep me from blasting through the usual stuff. Bad for the client. Bad for our industry.

  • boris November 23, 2007, 6:07 pm

    Right on… I don’t want links from my customer… I want SEO related links… It’s not a bad idea to have a link “optimized by…” but make it a “no follow” This way you might actually get traffic and keep the big SE happy!