Can an expert witness give opinions?

This, according to Google, is a common question about expert witnesses. The simple answer is…Yes, of course!

That’s the whole point of an expert witness, to provide opinions on a particular subject matter. The expert examines the evidence provided and, based on that evidence, provides an opinion. When being hired by an attorney, in fact, the attorney will say something like “we want you to opine on x.” 

The attorney may even tell you what opinion he or she wants…or more likely will tell you something like “we believe x happened, so we need you to look at the evidence and tell us if that’s correct.” 

One thing you’re not supposed to do, though, is simply give clients the opinions they want regardless of what the evidence shows. Expert witnesses need to provide unbiased, truthful opinions, opinions that are supported by the evidence. (Here’s a tip; if your opinion would be scoffed at by colleagues in your field, you may have tried to be too helpful to your client!)


How do you qualify as an expert witness?

According to the Federal Rules of Evidence, a person can qualify as an expert witness if he or she has “knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education” and this “scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” [] So the question is, is the expert capable of explaining to a judge and jury the specific subjects in a particular case, in a manner that can help the Court understand the issues in this case and come to a conclusion.


This is actually a pretty low bar. It doesn’t mean that you have to be at the top of your profession, nor do you need to be a “world expert” in your field. You just need to be able to show that you understand the subject and can explain it in such a manner that it helps the judge and jury (or maybe an arbitrator). However, having said that…opposing attorneys will often try to make you look unqualified. If you’ve got all your facts straight in your expert report, for instance, one way to attack you is to make you look unqualified, and if they can do that then they can ensure that the court never sees your opinions. So, the more of an expert you are, and can show you are, the more likely you are to survive challenges!


What makes a good expert witness?

An expert needs to have a number of qualities. To begin with, the expert must be just that, an expert (one with the “knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education” that enables the expert to “help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” That’s the baseline. But there are a few other things that I can think of that are important. First, you need to be able to communicate clearly.

Experts are likely to have to begin by writing a report or affidavit (this isn’t essential in all states, but in my experience the great majority of cases begin with a report). So writing skills are handy; you need to be able to explain technical issues in a clear, logical manner to non-technical people. Next, the ability to remain “calm under fire.” Opposing attorneys often try to rattle you in depositions and at trial, so if you’re of a nervous disposition this may not be something for you! And also the ability to speak in public, in a calm manner so the jury can see you are being honest and not evasive. Some experts fight every point, and come off as insincere. Sometimes you have to just concede points, and not deny, deny, deny. Fighting every single point, regardless of whether your answer makes sense, is the sign of an expert witness who will do anything to support the client who is paying them. Experts are supposed to provide unbiased opinions. If those opinions don’t suit the client, that’s unfortunate, but you can’t make things up!

I provide SEO Expert Witness Services (that is, Search Engine Optimization Expert Witness services) to law firms involved in litigation related to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) technology or business.

I have been involved in SEO for a long time; I began in 1998 or 1999 (I was on the Internet starting in 1993, when I wrote the Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Internet), wrote the best selling Search Engine Optimization for Dummies in 2003, have written 6 more editions since then (it’s now called SEO for Dummies, with the most recent edition published late in 2019). I’ve also provided SEO consulting services to numerous companies, including Amazon, Zillow, Avvo, Lonely Planet, Dunn & Bradstreet, and literally hundreds of small- and medium-size companies.

As for SEO Expert Witness services, I’ve worked on numerous cases over the years, such as:

  • HoneyBaked Ham Co, Inc v Honey Baked Ham, LLC
    SEO, PPC, and Google Shopping issues.
  • Louis Bacon v. Peter Nygård
    Defendant allegedly used SEO to defame Plaintiff.
  • International Metaphysical Ministry v. Wisdom of The Heart Church
    Defendant accused of “black hat” SEO that damaged Plaintiff.
  • ZipfWorks, Inc. v. PromoCodeWatch, LLC
    Alleged theft of SEO-related trade secrets.
  • Unimed International, Inc. v. Dermagist, Inc., et al.
    SEO issues related to a sham-review Web site disparaging Plaintiff.
  • Select Comfort Corporation v. John Baxter & Dires, LLC d/b/a Touch Beds & Personal Comfort Beds
    I worked as an SEO Expert Witness in this case looking at both SEO and PPC issues related to use of Plaintiff’s mark.
  • The Universal Church v. The Universal Life Church/ULC Monastery et al
    The use of Plaintiff’s marks in various Web-site elements for SEO purposes.
  • IPR (Inter Partes Review) of U.S. Patents 8,478,746, 8,135,706, 8,478,700
    SEO-software patents.
  • Karl D. Shehu and Shehu LLC, v. William Adams et al
    Related to Plaintiff’s SEO practices.
  • DR Distributors, LLC v. 21 Smoking, Inc. et al
    The use of SEO keywords in meta tags.
  • Bradley S. Cohen v. Ross B. Hansen, Northwest Territorial Mint, S. Firebaugh
    The use of SEO in order to boost defamatory Web sites in the search results. I testified at trial as a Search Engine Optimization Expert Witness. My client won a $38M judgement.
  • Quia Corporation v. Mattel, Inc.
    SEO effects of Defendant’s use of Plaintiff’s trademark.
  • Margae, Inc v. Clear Link Technologies, LLC.
    Defendant refused to pay this SEO-service firm’s bill.
  • International Oddities Inc v. Brian Petruzzi et al.
    Use of Plaintiff’s trademark throughout Defendant’s Web sites.

I have worked in the area of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for over 20 years. In addition to writing SEO for Dummies (7 editions since 2003), I also have three video courses on SEO on Learning, and I have one of the top-ranked SEO courses on, with over 30,000 students.

I’m also the author of Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing for Dummies, and have written about SEO in various other books and publications.

I’m the author of literally dozens of books about working and doing business online, such as the Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Internet (7 editions from 1993 – 2000), the Complete Idiot’s Guide to the World Wide Web (1995), The Official Netscape JavaScript Book, and many others. I have testified in deposition 36 times, and in court 10 times.

Learn about Peter Kent’s SEO Consulting Services here.

Find out about Peter Kent’s SEO Experience here.

Learn More About Peter Kent’s Expert Witness Services

Call Today: 720-771-3246


Looking for a SEO Expert Witness?

Learn More About Peter Kent’s SEO Expert Witness Services

Call Today: 720-771-3246


Peter Kent, SEO Expert Witness Services

Peter Kent is a consulting expert witness working in various Internet-related areas; he has worked as an Internet Expert Witness, SEO Expert Witness, Search Engine Expert Witness, Ecommerce Expert Witness, Online Marketing Expert Witness, PPC Expert Witness, and so on. If you are trying to find an expert witness, a testifying expert witness, a litigation expert witness or expert witnesses to help you with expert witness testimony, expert witness reports, an expert witness deposition, or expert witness testimony, contact Peter Kent to learn about his expert witness service now at 720-771-3246.

If you’ve been looking for an expert witness in a directory of expert witnesses, or one of the many expert witness directories or an expert witness directory in order to find expert witness help in your online litigation case, look no further. Peter Kent’s Expert Witness Services includes expert witness reports; as a professional writer he can provide a clear, concise expert witness report very quickly. He has served as a Pay Per Click Advertising Expert Witness, an E-commerce Expert Witness, an Online Commerce Expert Witness, a Search Engine Optimization Expert Witness, an expert witness consultant, and more.