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    Who owns keyword lists - SEM Agencies or Clients?


    Hi All,
    I'd like to know your thoughts on what is "standard procedure" with SEM agencies and sharing keyword lists with clients. Is it normal for an agency to allow the client access to their current keyword lists, or is this info considered the Agency's Intellectual Property? (IP)

    I know many people probably think agencies should share this info, but does this happen often in reality.

    Many thanks
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    I've never heard it put quite that way... ownership of a keyword list? What are you talking about?

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    • SEOhostingcouk agrees
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    Actually it is not fully clear about the keywords. Do you own this keyword? But how? And how about the sharing? I don't have the perfect idea about it.
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    Originally Posted by beavdog83
    Hi All,
    I'd like to know your thoughts on what is "standard procedure" with SEM agencies and sharing keyword lists with clients. Is it normal for an agency to allow the client access to their current keyword lists, or is this info considered the Agency's Intellectual Property? (IP)

    I know many people probably think agencies should share this info, but does this happen often in reality.

    Many thanks
    I would say that it largely depends upon how you have specified your relationship with the agency.

    If the agency are working FOR YOU as a service/consultancy then I would say that you should know everything about the campaign including the keyword list. They will/should have factored into their rates and the contract terms and conditions the fact you may 'run off' with the info later. (This would be a case of they use your adwords account etc and simply manage it on your behalf)

    If you have employed the Agency to to provide 'leads', in other words act as an advertising agency, etc, then I would say they are unlikely to share the methods, keyword lists etc. (This would be a case of they use their own adwords account and you provide the budget and their fees)

    Having said that, you should 'own' your analytics info and so should be able to quickly work out the PPC terms they use from there. So it is almost a pointless exercise for the agency to with-hold the information.

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : Great answer. Nice work!
    Last edited by Kevin H; Dec 4th, 2012 at 04:48 AM. Reason: must learn to spell
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    Your not letting someone run ads for you without knowing what they are targeting are you?

    This should be contractually specified, and standard practice AFAIK is to work on the clients adwords account so they can see everything and shut off the outside company at any time anyway.

    As Test-OK pointed out lead generation would be different as the company can choose to re-direct the leads to a different customer. (see should be in the contract)

    Seriously though, I would never let some other company advertise on my behalf without monitoring what they were targeting. Sure manage my campaign but I am going to keep an eye on what is happening.

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : Yep... don't let them spend your money blindly. Only an idiot would do that.

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