SEO Consultants: Do You Have SEO Liability Strategy?

May 18, 2009 • 1:20 pm | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEM / SEO Companies

In any business field, making sure to protect your business from being taken advantage of through the legal arena is something that every company must be prepared for. The larger you are, the more chances you are to be hit up with a lawsuit.

John Andrews started a Sphinn thread discussing the topic of SEO liability. He sums it up as follows:

I bet you never saw this kind of lawsuit coming! As a professional service provider you obviously know you can be held liable for your performance, for negligence, and for making mistakes. You probably include something in your consulting agreements that addresses that. Your clients want assurances that you are responsible for your actions, and you want to be free to act in good faith on behalf of your clients, working to gain a competitive advantage in the search engine results pages. But the very nature of SEO is competition. For every winner in the SERPs, there are going to be losers. Are you ready to be sued by the losers?

Whenever I think of SEO liability, I always think of Jill Whalen. Why? Well, I am pretty sure her husband is a lawyer and she has been in the SEO space for longer than some of us owned computers. In addition, Ian McAnerin is very active in the forum and he has a degree in law. In any event, if you are looking for some legal advice, I might recommend High Rankings Forum for that reason.

The discussion at Sphinn is just getting started. I suggest anyone with both experience and knowledge to get involved in the thread because for many people, being sued is a scary thing that can have a serious impact on one's business and family.

Forum discussion at Sphinn.

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Michael Martinez

05/18/2009 05:40 pm

Well, High Rankings is one of the places where I look for insights into legal issues affecting the SEO world because Ian McAnerin participates there (he is a moderator). Ian, for those who don't know, is/used to be a practicing attorney. However, I know lawyers don't like to give "legal advice" online. People who feel they need legal advice, rather than insight into legal issues, should consult with a practicing attorney.

Barry Schwartz

05/18/2009 05:49 pm

Michael, 100% correct. Ian is awesome. I should update the post.

No Name

05/18/2009 11:15 pm

Sarah Bird at SeoMoz is an expert on the subject, she has provided some great resources on the subject that you might want to check out.

Barry Schwartz

05/19/2009 12:14 am

She has written some excellent advice on SEO and legal topics at SEOMoz's blog.


05/19/2009 03:48 pm

I don't think you should position this discussion as "The losers" suing because they "lost out" to the winners. I have seen so many "SEO Professionals" taking $$$ they had no business taking because they don't have a clue as to what they're doing! These thieves rightly ought to be sued out of existence!

Rob Abdul

05/20/2009 06:51 pm

This sounds crazy guys. The Black Hat’s should be in the firing line. If an Individual, SME or a Blue Chip hires me to SEO for then and in doing so their respective competitors loose out because my Client is being favoured by the Google Gods with respect to SERP’s then that is fair. I abide by same rules and guidelines. Being sued, probably in America, not in the UK! Even if I find myself in the Doc someday, I don’t worry about any legal issues: I will bring out the ACE of Spades Ladies & Gentlemen. My Misses just happens to be a Barrister (Lawyer), and my Sister a solicitor (Lawyer). No pain! Bring it on!

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