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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    When a Client Removes Your Backlink

    I figured it couldn't hurt to ask what others have done or do in this situation. I have a client and I just checked up on their website as I noticed I got a few hits from their keywords (oddly).

    I go there and see that they've made a few changes, sure it looked okay. Some holiday special, and I guess they couldn't afford me? Really I'm quite cheap.

    Then I notice that my backlink is gone. I've never had a client do this before, and I find it odd. I know they have some Internet related guy in the family (caused hosting issues) so I'm guessing he got in the way and removed it. I hate families getting involved in business.

    What would you do? Just leave it? I get a number of hits from these backlinks and a good PR boost. I don't want to lose that link, or sound like a whinner to my client.

  2. #2
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    is it part of some contract that your link be there. if so you have every right to be mad. if not its their site, and they have pretty much every right to do what they please.

  3. #3
    Naples SEO b34nz's Avatar
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    i removed the backlink off http://jwpincorporated.com and replaced it with the companys email addy. if anyone wants some work done, they can go through me, and i can tax the total cost. call is grimey but why should the coder of my webpage get a free billboard? i paid for the site and last time i checked i wasnt offering free adspace on my page. matter of fact now that i think about it, i was actually sorta bothered by the link.

    kind of like when you purchase a car and it has that retarded sticker on the back saying "jerkOff Motors, loserville FL". i always tell to get the sticker off my car or i am not buying it.
    now if you wanna take some money off the price, to leave your little sticker or link there, thats another story. otherwise...SEE YA

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Unless you have some clause in your contract that specifically permits this link, there isn't much you can do except ask why it was removed. But like the previous poster, I suspect your client has seen (or been shown) 'the light' to what is effectively free advertising for you.

    We all do it, it seems to be one of those accepted things most web designers can get away with, but to be fair it is a bit cheeky unless you truly do reduce your fees accordingly, but if this isn;t specifically stated in your contract, there's not anything you can do to enforce this.

    kind of like when you purchase a car and it has that retarded sticker on the back saying "jerkOff Motors, loserville FL". i always tell to get the sticker off my car or i am not buying it.
    now if you wanna take some money off the price, to leave your little sticker or link there, thats another story. otherwise...SEE YA
    Been there on that one - but have you ever tried to get those damn stickers off, it's almost like they are built into the glass...

  5. #5
    perfect = good enough peach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b34nz
    i removed the backlink off http://jwpincorporated.com and replaced it with the companys email addy. if anyone wants some work done, they can go through me, and i can tax the total cost. call is grimey but why should the coder of my webpage get a free billboard? i paid for the site and last time i checked i wasnt offering free adspace on my page. matter of fact now that i think about it, i was actually sorta bothered by the link.

    kind of like when you purchase a car and it has that retarded sticker on the back saying "jerkOff Motors, loserville FL". i always tell to get the sticker off my car or i am not buying it.
    now if you wanna take some money off the price, to leave your little sticker or link there, thats another story. otherwise...SEE YA
    do you also cut the little labels from your clothes?

    I put into my TOS that they cannot remove the link but for a small fee I can drop it.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Quite honestly, I've never had a client take issue. I think the whole "free advertising" is a bit overrated. I've only gotten one client in this manner in 6+ years. For me, the backlinking is a credibility issue. If another prospective client looks at sites in my portfolio, and none of them contain a backlink, how does he really know I designed/developed them, short of calling each site owner?

    That brings up another issue. If a client takes issue with the backlink, he can also ask you to remove his site from your portfolio. After all, the designer/developer is "using" his site to gain more clients. That's why it's important to stipulate in your contract that you are allowed to place a link on the site, display his site in your portfolio and use printed examples in your promotional material.

  7. #7
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    Any designer who tells me that as part of the contract they must have a link from my site to theirs would be shown the door. Designers have no "right" to have a link, I'll give one if I want to.

    Also any designer who states in a contract that they want to use me as a portfolio entry better expect 2 things:

    1. I'll expect the price of the work to drop.
    2. They had better do a damn good job or anyone who contacts me will get the full story.

    You do not want to add every client to your portfolio, the ones you want are the ones who are most likely to say yes - the really happy ones - just ask at the end of the work. (last designer I used asked me to fill in a feedback form, and that feedback asked if I agreed to going on the portfolio, etc - which I did - I thought that was a very effective way of doing things)

  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist bronze trophy Derek Sheppard's Avatar
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    I don't ask people if I can use them in my portfolio. I tell them I'm going to after the project is completed. I did the work, I get the credit. This is not work-for-hire. If they don't like that, sorry. They had a chance to bring this up during the proposal and contract phase. I would charge a premium to agree to limit the site's inclusion. And yes, I am selective about who I include.

    I ask people for feedback and permission to use their quotes in my marketing. Most have no problem, but it's up to them.

    Backlinks are negotiable, but I don't fight if someone objects. I also don't directly link from the homepage. Instead the footer will contain an 'About this site...' link (some call this a colophon) to a page on their site that will contain site details, technical information and credits - mine prominent among them. That's where the backlink is. Strickly for information and possible referral (or blame, depending on your point of view) - not SEO.

    As for proving to propective clients that I did the work, I use a meta tag with me as the author.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGeeK
    Any designer who tells me that as part of the contract they must have a link from my site to theirs would be shown the door. Designers have no "right" to have a link, I'll give one if I want to.
    I've talked a lot about the importance of establishing peer-to-peer relationships with clients. Mine see me as someone who's out to help them, not exploit them by getting free advertising off them. In a relationship of equals, I have no "rights," per se, any more than my client/prospect has the right to dictate to me simply because he's paying me. Certain things are negotiable and certain things are not. A backlink might be negotiable, but If I ever got this type of reaction, I wouldn't have to be "shown the door." I'd find it fast enough on my own.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist bronze trophy Derek Sheppard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johntabita
    A backlink might be negotiable, but If I ever got this type of reaction, I wouldn't have to be "shown the door." I'd find it fast enough on my own.
    Right.

  11. #11
    Texan at Heart Corey Bryant's Avatar
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    We have a few clients that actually request us to put a backlink to our site but we never ask.

    If it was not in your contract, there is not too much that you can do. It is their site, they paid for it & they are probably paying a monthly hosting fee as well.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Well it is an odd situation as I worked with a past client, who was working with someone else to market their book. The actual client I didn't talk with much, but their book manager. The book manager, who I worked with, is very nice and she still has her backlink on her site.

    But the client I was working for through her removed the link. It wasn't in the contract, although I might look at including it for the future designs.

    I would never do this if I was working just as a designer, but I did the entire project. Most of my projects I do the programming, so I need these few backlinks I get for projects I actually am in charge of.

    If a client wouldn't agree with a backlink, to get a contract, I'd remove it. It isn't that important, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to get some feedback from others.

  13. #13
    Texan at Heart Corey Bryant's Avatar
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    If it was a "marketers" website, a lot of them do not like links placed on their site that directs users to other websites. We have a few of those clients and they ask me to go in & remove the designer's backlink once that it is up. I will comply with them since they are the client of course and let them handle the designer.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard
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    True, it wasn't like I wasn't paid for the project. I got my money from it and hopefully I'll have future business in that area. I'm surprised how accurate the page they added is to the others, they did a pretty good job.


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