As a new start up website I am looking to promote it through search engine optimization. I am looking into hiring a freelancer to perform these tasks for me. Do I face potential lawsuits as a result of doing this?
See my response to your identical question posted previously.
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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.
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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.