See my response to your identical question posted previously.
The above is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.
Please see my reply to your previous query.
Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.
Your answer depends entirely on the tactics employed by your SEO free lancer. Generally though, no, search engine optimization is not generally a cause for law suits.
This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction. Additionally, we also encourage you to reach out to us via Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/WhiteRoseMarks) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WhiteRoseMarks) if you have follow up questions as we do not monitor questions after providing an initial answer.
If you are starting a web-site, you are going into the publishing business. Especially if you are using SEO, you need to lay the proper legal foundation to avoid potential liability for violation of IP rights, privacy rights, and many others. Anyone who starts a web-site makes a substantial investment in time and assumes substantial personal risk----the financial consequences from a law suit are significant. Thus, I tell people in your situation that you must have budget for legal counsel---the big players such as Craigslist, Yahoo, AOL, etc have literally dozens of in-house lawyers available 24/7 to deal with problems as they arise---even if you are not yet in their league, you need at least one lawyer on your team. And if you don't have a budget for legal counsel, then you should think twice about whether you are ready to operate this web-site and incur the financial and personal risks.
I warmly suggest to consult with an attorney. Optimization per se is a contract for a service that you sign with a third party. Signing a contract is not an illegal activity, in general. The first step is to understand what you are signing and the type of obligations you will face. Secondly it is necessary to understand the object of your business, namely what kind of business is your start-up engaged in. Consulting with a legal expert is certainly a smart way to plan the success of your start-up.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than an educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the undisclosed individual asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York law unless stated otherwise.
No. Search engine optimization typically creates 0 liability to you as long as you are not infringing someone else's trademarks, copyrights or otherwise using someone else's trademarks as part of a keyword stuffing strategy. Your biggest risk is hiring the wrong SEO company and getting banned or demoted by Google as a result. Your best SEO strategy is just great content which is original to you. I always recommend to my Internet and websites start up clients that they limit their S EEO activity to making sure there website is properly designed so that as content is added to the website the HTML structure and meta-information is being embedded properly.