SEO Expert Witness with Trial Experience

Bill Hartzer

Expert Witness Bill Hartzer
Bill Hartzer is an industry-leading SEO expert, recognized worldwide.

With over 20 years of experience in the SEO, internet marketing, website marketing, and domain name industries, Bill Hartzer is the perfect person to be an SEO expert witness for your lawsuit or litigation. Mr. Hartzer has a very broad range of SEO expertise, as well as expertise in the domain name industry. As an expert witness, it’s important to have not just a small amount of know-how. He has worked as in-house as an SEO and webmaster for a major telecom software company, Director, and Senior Vice President in internet marketing, at digital marketing agencies, and as an SEO consultant and domain name consultant. Mr. Hartzer has trial experience testifying in United States Federal District Court, Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, and has been deposed.

  • checkmarkSEO experience counts. Bill Hartzer has over 20 years.
  • checkmarkKnow your subject.
  • checkmarkKeep up with the Digital Marketing Industry. It changes frequently.
  • checkmarkPractice SEO as your full-time job.
  • checkmarkWrite and publish industry articles regularly.
  • checkmarkHave recent Expert Witness experience.
  • checkmarkHave recent trial experience as an expert witness.

SEO Expert Witness Experience Counts

In order to be an effective, honest, and authoritative SEO expert witness, experience in the industry is a must. An SEO expert, if used as an independent witness in legal issues, must have actually practiced search marketing in multiple capacities. Mr. Hartzer started his SEO career in the mid-1990s, even before Google existed. He was optimizing web pages and driving traffic to websites from search engines before Google was born.

Experts Must Know Their Subject

Not only should a search engine optimization expert witness know SEO methods, tactics, and strategies inside and out, that SEO expert needs to have actually used both white-hat SEO, gray hat SEO, and even black hat SEO techniques. They need to fully understand and be able to explain web server technologies, the techniques that companies use to manipulate search results, and the ins and outs of negative SEO. Mr. Hartzer is that person, that search and digital marketing industry professional you’re looking for.

Not only does expertise need to be in the area of marketing and advertising, there are other related topics that are relevant. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Trademark Infringement
  • Search Results
  • PPC
  • Defamation
  • Damages

While Mr. Hartzer does not specifically claim to have an expert at these topics, such as trademark infringement, defamation and damages, each of these have played a big role in the legal cases in which he’s been involved. For example, in one particular case, violations related to the registration and use of internet domain names was one of the disputes in the case. Mr. Hartzer is an domainname expert, and regularly consults with clients regarding domains. He provided testimony and his professional opinion regarding the registration of domains. In more than one legal case, infringement was involved in the registering of domain names.

Trademark Infringement

Oftentimes, questions arise regarding trademark infringement and the search results, which can include violations related to domain names, search results (both organic web page results and online advertising such as Pay Per Click). The Google website has established very specific guidelines and policies. Any violations, disputes, or questions need to be addressed directly with the company using the form that they provide. At the same time, while these policies exist, oftentimes this is not enough to resolve disputes. So, litigation is required to resolve the dispute and award money.

Search Results Include Many Parts

Google, Bing, and Yahoo results include many different parts, including paid or sponsored text advertising, online shopping ads, local maps listings, local business listings, and the natural or organic listings. In many cases where Mr. Hartzer has served as an expert witness in the litigation, he provided detailed explanations of information provided on web results that included screen captures as well as written explanations of how search works. In some cases, he has provided his expertise and professional opinion to explain how results are influenced by over 1,000 ranking factors. Mr. Hartzer has also been asked while being deposed about his use of custom search on websites.

PPC Related Litigation

Disputes and litigants in cases can ask for compensation because of the improper use of Pay Per Click advertising. For example, competitors who advertise using Google Ads or other online advertising (such as ads on Bing.com) can cause cause confusion when bidding on another company’s trademarked keywords. Keywords that include a company name, trademark, or other similar keywords such as misspellings can confuse internet users, driving users to their website when the user thinks that they’re clicking on a advertiser’s ad. Damages have been awarded as a result of litigation in the past involving the improper use of online ads. Mr. Hartzer can testify and provide expert witness reports involving internet and online advertising–he is certified in Google Ads as well as many of their products and services.

Defamation and Damages

Complex internet legal cases involving search results, infringement, and advertising can result in compensation being assigned to companies and individuals because of character issues that occurred on the internet. Mr. Hartzer has a professional background involving (online reputation) as it relates to damages. In one case in particular, he provided his opinion in regards to the process involved in removing content from the website pages. Other opinions that he has provided clients were related to the costs involved with influencing the an engine’s results so that it would be more difficult to find “negative” web pages.

Expert Witness SEO Proof

Mr. Hartzer has written over 1,000 articles and blog posts written on the subject of websites, domain names, website design, webmaster issues, website and internet marketing. Not only is Mr. Hartzer thoroughly read by thousands upon thousands of others wishing to learn SEO, he has proven that he knows the industry well. Not only has he written SEO-related articles as an SEO guru, he’s been hired as a witness in SEO legal cases recently, and written reports, documents, and rebuttals. He’s testified in United States Federal Court as an SEO expert, also as a Google Shopping and Google AdWords (now called Google Ads) expert, as well.

In 2004, Bill Hartzer founded the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association, that started with his hand-picked list of 16 fellow SEOs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Providing monthly meetings and events to members and non-members, this organization has grown over the years to hundreds of members and attendees at their annual State of Search conference, held in Dallas once a year. Mr. Hartzer was the State of Search conference Chair in 2019 and is the conference Chair in 2020. State of Search is a search industry and digital marketing conference held in Dallas, Texas every year. He serves on the Board of the organization from 2019 to 2021.

Full-Time Witnesses

Other expert witnesses appear to be “full time” witnesses, providing witness services more often than actually practicing their skills in the industry. Mr. Hartzer is quite the opposite, having practiced organic or natural website marketing and search marketing for over 20 years, and actively practicing SEO, social media marketing, and working with domain name issues daily.

Recent Cases

The following are a just a few of the recent legal cases where Bill Hartzer has been retained as a witness. A full list is available upon request.

  • checkmarkJohn Hart v. Michael Galantino, John Walker – Case Number 1106, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County – Civil Division – Retained as an expert witness. Prepared a report.
  • checkmarkOpportune, LLP v Oportun, Inc. and Oportun, LLC – Case Number 4:18-CV-7, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division – Retained as an expert witness. Prepared a report, provided rebuttal report, deposed.
  • checkmarkA.B. Cernelle v. Graminex, LLC and Cynthia May – Case Number 03-10291 – Prepared an expert witness report, testified in Federal District Court, Detroit, in April 2019. Retained by the Plaintiff, A.B. Cernelle.
  • checkmarkXYZ Media, Inc. v. Mark Maris, Adam Alfia, Michael Terrell, and Lead Crank, LLC – Civil Action No. 3:17-cv-00854-B – Retained as an expert witness in this SEO and lead generation case.
  • checkmarkChristopher Hamilton v. Summa Consulting – Case 37-2014-00011235-CU-FR-CTL – Retained as an SEO and Domain Name expert witness.
  • checkmarkBrightedge Technologies, Inc. V. Searchmetrics GMBH and Searchmetrics, Inc. – Case 3:14-cv-01009 WHO – Retained as an expert witness.

SEO Consultant, Digital Marketing, Domain Name Consultant

Bill Hartzer is currently a search engine optimization, digital marketing, and domain name consultant. He has provided his industry expertise to companies worldwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies during his career. He has even provided digital marketing and SEO services in 9 different languages. He is Google Certified, and a Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) Certified Individual.

SEO and Digital Marketing is Difficult

SEO and digital marketing used to be, back in the 1990s, a lot easier to perform. You simply optimized the web pages that you wanted to rank by writing title tags, writing meta tags, and added keywords to your web page. However, over the years, Mr. Hartzer has been seen it all–the changes and complexities that have evolved. Now, internet search engines use literally thousands of signals to decide how to rank one particular web page in their results. With customization, privacy, and artificial intelligence having been added in the last few years, it makes it increasingly difficult to properly optimize one web page and make it show up well in the search results.

Not a Full-Time Digital Marketing or Website Expert Witness, Which is Good

Mr. Hartzer isn’t a full-time witness, which actually is a good thing. Someone who is a full-time expert witness doesn’t have the time to keep up with all of the search algorithm changes and updates. That is imperative for this type of job. As a full-time Internet Marketer and Domain Name Expert first, and part time SEO expert witness, second, Mr. Hartzer is familiar with all of these issues–it’s his job to keep up with the changes in the industry. He is, however, able to fully explain all of these changes, updates, and search ranking issues to anyone–especially if relied upon as an expert. Bill uses his previous technical writing background (he wrote software manuals on IBM mainframe computers back in the early 1990s) to explain technical search and website issues to everyone. Even those without a technical background. Oftentimes, web server, IP address, and domain registration issues are involved in SEO litigation, and Mr. Hartzer has the expertise to research, analyze, and provide expert opinions on these issues.

As a formally trained technical writer (Mr. Hartzer has minored in technical writing in college), Mr. Hartzer’s reports are second-to-none, they’re simply outstanding because of his technical writing expertise. His reports are thorough, well-written, and technically accurate–everything Counsel would want in a report.

Additional Expert Witness Experience

Many legal cases involve a lot more than just SEO. In fact, all of the cases at the Federal level that Mr. Hartzer has been involved with involved more than just internet marketing or website issues. They involved issues such as social media, domainnames, website issues, website coding issues, and even online reputation management issues. Mr. Hartzer’s experience and knowledge is quite often helpful when it comes to these other topics that are a part of complex legal cases.

  • checkmark - Social Media Expert WitnessSocial Media Expert Witness
    Before social media was hip and cool, Bill Hartzer was using social media type websites, bulletin boards, blogs, and message boards to drive traffic to websites. He has over 17,000 followers on Twitter, hundreds of thousands of followers on the (now retired) Google Plus network, and Facebook combined. He has been a social media fanatic for years, always posting, promoting, and sharing Tweets, Likes, and building his online social media presence. No one else is fully qualified to serve as a social media professional witness for your pending litigation.
  • checkmark - Domain Name Expert WitnessDomain Name Expert Witness
    In order to fully understand all of the potential issues involved with internet marketing, SEO, and social media, the expert witness you hire must understand domains. Not only is Mr. Hartzer fully involved with the domain name industry in the buying and selling of domainnames, he recently created the first-ever background check service for domains, called Verified Domains. Mr. Hartzer’s former patent-pending algorithm is used as the back-end of the service.
  • checkmark - Online Reputation Management Expert WitnessOnline Reputation Management Expert Witness
    Mr. Hartzer has helped a lot of individuals and companies with their online reputation management issues. When someone or another company writes negative things about your or your business, it can show up online in the search results. Oftentimes these things are not true–but can cause a big disruption in your business or ruin your reputation. These often become litigious, and lawyers must become involved. Mr. Hartzer provides online reputation management services, and has been providing these services for over 10 years. He has the proven experience to research, talk, write about, and provide his professional opinions on these issues.

Upcoming Litigation and Availability

If you hire Mr. Hartzer for your upcoming or current litigation or legal issues, there will be no question as to whether or not he qualifies as an expert on the subject. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find an expert that has more experience. He currently has been retained on current, ongoing, and upcoming legal cases at the federal level–please contact for availability.

As an SEO expert, Mr. Hartzer is the perfect person to provide you with his professional opinion as a witness. For a detailed resume or CV, as well as the industries and topics Mr. Hartzer has provided services in, please contact him.