What is an SEO Expert Witness? An SEO Expert Witness is someone who provides expert evidence related to search-engine optimization in court proceedings; someone who “is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education” and whose “specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” [US Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 702. Testimony by Expert Witnesses]
Thus an SEO Expert Witness (or Search Engine Optimization Expert Witness) is someone who helps attorneys, judges, and juries understand evidence related to search-engine optimization. The type of cases in which such testimony is required vary greatly; they frequently include litigation related to trademark infringement, but may also involve patents, theft of trade secrets, online defamation, unfair business practices, and more.
What Does an SEO Expert Witness Do?
Peter Kent is one of the top SEO expert witnesses in the United States, having provided testimony regarding SEO in numerous cases. These cases include:
- Patent cases related to SEO software.
- Trademark cases in which a defendant has used the plaintiff’s brand or wordmark in page elements such as the keywords metatags or hidden layers.
- Cases in which a party is accused of using company’s brand name in Instagram posts in order to manipulate search-engine results.
- Defamation cases in which someone has created defamatory Web pages and used SEO to ensure they appear in the Google search results.
- Unfair business practice cases in which someone is accused of using “black hat” SEO techniques in order to gain an unjust search-result position.
- Theft of trade secrets in which employees absconded with lists of link sources and started a business competing with their original employer.
- The creation of sham “review” sites that defame a competitor (and using SEO to help those sites gain traffic).