How To Terminate Your
Pay-for-Performance SEO Contract

Yes, Commissions Must Be Paid When Earned, But There Also Has To Be A Way To Get Out Quickly and Easily If Needed

Pay-for-results SEO does require some type of contract or agreement to protect both sides, but there are ways to structure an agreement so it has fair boundaries and a means to fully and completely get out with no questions asked.

The Preferred Way of Terminating Pay-for-Performance SEO

Pay for performance SEO agreements typically are terminated either because they aren't performing well (often terminated by the SEO supplier), or if they are working too well. In the first case, the termination request typically comes from the SEO supplier since they will clearly not be making any money. (See, "What if Things Go Horribly Wrong" below for our final stop gap or "firewall" approach to terminating the performance SEO agreement.) In the second case, if a program is working beyond expectations, the client should still be able to terminate the agreement by paying some type of surrender or buy-back fee. This allows the SEO provider to recoup expense at a fair market value.

The SEO content "buy back" levels are always negotiated per each contract, but typically consist of a composite of factors including:
  • Average unique visitors (which is similar to price per click except it eliminates duplicate visits in a given period of time) over a specified period of months.
  • The original contract agreed upon price per unique visitor.
  • And some type of multiplier.

Please note that for that above "buy back" to work, the program must be left in place for at least six months. This avoids the potential that we are contracted to create a content series, but the contract is then "bought out" before there was sufficient time for traffic to build. There will be no additional content added once an intent to terminate the contract in this manner is registered. If a faster (and admittedly more drastic) method of ending the contract is required, please see the next section.

What If Things Go Horribly Wrong?

While pay-for-performance SEO is a reasonable way to lower risk, lower management costs and provide measurable results, there are times when the program needs to be stopped. Reasons include overall performance, change in business approach or strategies, change in internal management and so on.

If, for these or other reasons, the program needs to come to a full stop and essentially reset back to when it started, we offer the option of breaking the contract with these provisions:
  • All content supplied by us will be removed from the site
  • No content that is more than 20% duplicated using the exact terms can replace that content
  • The period for this black out is 3 years from the point of contract termination
This protects both parties in that if the content is no longer beneficial in any way, all trace of it will be removed at no cost to the client. It protects us in the case that a client is actually gaining benefit from the content additions, but simply no longer wishes to pay for the results.