You paid good money to an SEO service to boost your website’s ranking and they didn’t live up to their promises. Lawsuits have managed to reach the SEO industry with Seikaly & Stewart demanding their $49,000 back they spent to The Rainmaker Institute as well as punitive damages under RICO law.
While lawsuits are filed with abandoned in the US, the question is not so much whether you can sue an SEO outfit for not living up to their promises. The question is whether you stand a good chance at being successful.
Are SEO Services Liable for Results?
In essence, this will depend on what promises were made by the SEO company, whether they followed legal guidelines, and the view of the jury that must weigh the evidence presented. As with any company that advertises, what they say they will do must match what happens which is why so many advertisements carry caveats about what will happen.
For example, a product that promises you’ll lose 10 pounds in one week or your money back will have to return your money if you do not lose the 10 pounds. However, a company that advertises that you might lose up to 10 pounds in one week has given themselves enough wiggle room to avoid a direct promise. The same goes for an SEO company that makes promises as well.
Are False Promises in Violation of RICO Laws
Most people associate Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) with organized crime and not SEO companies. In the broadest sense, it will depend on the actions of the SEO company in terms of whether they are in violation of the laws. In most cases, the answer will probably be no because SEO changes and what might be acceptable one day is not the next. So, unless there is direct evidence that shows the SEO company knowingly used unacceptable tactics, violating RICO laws is a stretch.
Be Careful with Marketing
This applies to any individual as well as a company. Advertising is meant to demonstrate the potential of what a company, service, or product has to offer. It never should be taken as cold, hard fact that every result will be the same. So, an SEO company that promises to improve the search engine rankings of another company may or may not be able to improve them dramatically.
Buyer’s remorse is a common result when expected results do not happen. It is one thing if the SEO company takes no action or uses unethical or unlawful tactics in achieving the goal. However, it is quite another when the SEO company does use legal methods thoughtfully applied that generates some results, but perhaps not quite to the level of expectation.