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

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.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

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..

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Asker

Posted

What more information do you need? I posted more info on a comment under Kavon Aldi's comment. I would definitely say it matches unfair competition, fraudulent schemes, and possibly cybercriminal acts. He is clearly harming my business by directly paying money to a thirdparty service to point bad/spam links to MY website. He is doing this for the sole purpose of destroying my online business. unfortunately, I don't know much about law and am not sure if there is a law that makes this illegal.

Athina Karamanlis Powers

Athina Karamanlis Powers

Posted

read your comment in Kavon's posting. third party has no obligation to answer your inquiry. Filing a complaint in a federal level can give you access to subpoena third parties. Alot of cyber investigation and digital evidence discovery must take place and also you need to send letters of non spoilation of those evidence. I wish you the best of luck

Posted

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 relationship shall be formed as a result of the answer above.

Posted

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

Posted

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 not to be relied upon as legal advice or applied to specific situations. Legal advice is provided only upon execution of a written retainer agreement and after a comprehensive consultation in which all relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.

Asker

Posted

Interesting. I should be able to have a case then. My competitor is not just optimizing his site better... I understand that is totally fine. However, he is contacting 3rd party businesses and buying bad/spam links and pointing them to MY website. It’s a known fact that Google will penalize a website for having those type of links. I think he might even be telling those 3rd party businesses that he is the owner of my website, which is a lie and misrepresentation. However I have no proof on this. I am in the process of contacting the 3rd party business and asking them about the transaction they made with my competitor.

Kavon Adli

Kavon Adli

Posted

You can speculate as to whether you have a case or retain qualified counsel answer the question of whether there is liability and who is responsible. The details of what took place and how it was done will make all the difference, and reviewing the most recent case law will be necessary to provide an informed opinion. Good luck to you.

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