State of Washington Sues Search Engine Optimization Firm

Nov 17, 2008 • 10:14 am | comments (5) by twitter | Filed Under Legal Issues in Search

NetworkWorld reports that the State of Washington has sued an SEO firm for a variety of infractions, including making claims that they can increase traffic to clients' websites, falsely claiming affiliations with other marketers, making claims that customer service representatives are available for any calls (though they never returned calls), failing to provide refunds, continuing to bill credit cards of customers who have canceled, and failing to register with the Department of Licensing as a commercial telephone solicitor.

In the past four years, 90 complaints have been lodged against the company, which uses the name

Is this lawsuit a good thing? A few people are a bit worried. How many SEOs promise a lot but deliver below expectations because competitors overdeliver and the algorithm changes [drastically], despite all that you've done? It can happen. While some say that this is a plea aimed at snake oil sellers, if a client is unhappy with legitimate SEO work, what's to say they won't consider you a snake oil salesman?

On another note, how come nobody has sued those companies that send you mailers claiming to be your domain registrar and wanting to renew your domain for a few years (at least to my knowledge)? Like these guys. Seriously -- I'm sure there are more than 90 complaints against those people.

Forum discussion continues at Cre8asite Forums.

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11/18/2008 06:24 am

What have people got to be worried about. Going by the details of this case the SEO company deserves to be sued (if not criminal charges should be brought). Charging credit cards for cancelled customers is essentially Theft, the company have clearly also breached contracts, they seem to have made claims that they quite clearly cannot manage. And if 90 customers have made complaints how many companies actually have problems with this company. Many people/companies write off such matters so you can bet that the disgruntled customer count is much higher.


11/18/2008 08:31 am

It is highly unpredictable regarding the improvement in the rank. The top search engine uses different technique for fetching the relevant results. That's why if you are rank 1 on google, it doesn't mean you are rank one in yahoo and MSN. A SEO expert can not be 100% sure regarding this. The company should not make fake promises to the people. The search engine Google, Yahoo and MSN change their algorithm of the search results time to time.

No Name

11/18/2008 10:47 am

It's very happy news for all the investors in SEO firm, they can get more profits by it. Thank you

Rob Abdul

11/18/2008 12:08 pm

Honest hard working, folk have nothing to fear. SEO-SEM is an art form!


11/18/2008 09:44 pm

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