Can I Sue a competing business for intentionally purchasing negative seo services to harm my online business?

Asked 7 months ago - Los Angeles, CA

I run a prosperous online business. My whole business revolves around getting customers online. My customers find me through searching on Google. So basically, my whole business succeeds as long as my business website is ranking on Google. Recently a competitor purchased negative seo services from a third party to purposely damage my rankings on Google so they can get more of my customers. Its costing me around 50 to 100K in lost revenue every month. Is there a law that protects me from this and can I sue my competitor for damages? Note: I'm not trying to sue Google. I want to sue my competitor for purposely and maliciously paying money to damage my online business's rankings.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Athina Karamanlis Powers

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . need more details ...this is a serious matter that can create serious litigation against the individual that purchse that negative seo services. A lawsuit can be based to a combination of existing legal issues.
    But everything depends from the details. It can be a variation of unfair competition, fraudulent schemes
    cybercriminal acts and much more.
    There is Case law like Perfect 10, Inc. v. Ccbill, LLC, 340 F.Supp.2d 1077 (C.D. Cal., 2004) and other cases that can assist and guide the right attorney to assist you in your case..

    Disclaimer:Attorney and Fraud Examiner.One of few that are Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE). The information... more
  2. Samuel Watson Eastman

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    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . More facts and circumstances would be needed to properly evaluate whether you have a cause of action worth pursuing, however, due to the large sums of lost revenue, I would strongly suggest contacting an attorney experienced in this area of law immediately to evaluate your options.

    This advice is for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney-client... more
  3. Sagar P. Parikh

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . If you can prove this, then you may have a defamation claim. A full consultation would be necessary to properly advise you.

  4. Kavon Adli

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

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    Answered . I agree with the others that answer would depend upon the nature of the negative SEO. By way of example, simply optimizing one or more other sites that have would the effect of having yours drop in the rankings would not be actionable. On the other extreme, a company misrepresenting itself as its competitor on websites and requesting that valuable backlinks be taken down may warrant a lawsuit on a host of legal theories, including fraud and online impersonation. Unfair competition can also arise in the context of pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, where a competitor causes clicks to be registered against its competitor's ads in an effort to unfairly compete. While search engines typically filter such "invalid clicks," sophisticated competitors may in some cases be able to bypass a search engine's filters. I have represented plaintiff clients asserting claims on both of the above fact patterns, in each case obtaining court orders permitting expedited discovery to determine the identity of the competitor. A variety of other permutations may exist; experienced legal counsel can help you determine whether you have a viable claim and act swiftly to protect your rights.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not create an attorney-client relationship, and is... more

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