SEO Expert Witness

With over 20 years of experience in the search engine optimization, 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 website marketing expertise, as well as expertise in the domain name industry. As a professional witness, it’s important to have not just a small amount of know-how. He has worked as in-house as a search engine optimization specialist and webmaster for a major telecom software company, Director, and Senior Vice President in internet marketing, at digital marketing agencies, and as a search engine optimization 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 many times.

Bill Hartzer – SEO Expert Witness with Trial Experience

Expert Witness Bill Hartzer
Bill Hartzer is an industry-leading search engine optimization expert, recognized worldwide.

  • checkmarkSearch engine optimization experience counts. Bill Hartzer has over 20 years.
  • checkmarkKnow your subject.
  • Keep up with the Digital Marketing Industry. It changes frequently.
  • checkmarkPractice search engine optimization as your full-time job.
  • Write and publish industry articles regularly.
  • checkmarkHave recent litigation Witness experience.
  • Have recent trial experience as a witness.

SEO Expert Witness Experience Counts

In order to be an effective, honest, and authoritative search engine optimization expert witness, recent experience in the search engine optimization and digital marketing industry is a must. An search engine optimization professional, if used as an independent witness in legal issues, must have actually practiced search marketing in multiple capacities. Mr. Hartzer started his website marketing and search engine optimization 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.

SEO Experts Must Know Their Subject

Not only should a search engine optimization witness know search engine optimization methods, tactics, and strategies inside and out, that search engine optimization expert needs to have actually used both white-hat search engine optimization, gray hat search engine optimization, and even black hat search engine optimization techniques. They need to fully understand and be able to explain web server technologies, the techniques that companies may use to manipulate their positions in the search engine results, and the ins and outs of negative SEO. At the same, time, they need to understand all parts of online marketing, including pay per click (PPC) advertising like Google Ads, as well as other forms of online advertising. 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 that an expert witness in the SEO and internet marketing fields must know understand fully. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Trademark Infringement
  • Intellectual Property
  • Search Engine Results
  • PPC (Pay Per Click) and Internet Advertising
  • Domain Names
  • Defamation
  • Damages

While Mr. Hartzer does not specifically claim to be an expert at all of these topics, such as trademark infringement, IP, defamation and damages, each of these have played a big role in the legal cases in which he’s been involved over the past several years. For example, in one particular case, violations related to the registration and use of internet domain names was one of the disputes in a case. Mr. Hartzer is an domain name 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.

1. Trademark Infringement, IP, and the Internet

Oftentimes, questions arise regarding trademark infringement and the search results or trademark infringement as it relates to Google Ads, 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.

2. Search Engine 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 a 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.

3. PPC Related Lawsuits and 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 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 reports involving internet and online advertising–he is certified in Google Ads as well as many of their products and services.

4. Internet 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.

5. SEO Expert Witness Qualifications & 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. BIll Hartzer thoroughly read by thousands upon thousands of others wishing to learn search engine optimization, he has proven that he knows the industry well. Not only has he written SEO-related (search engine optimization related) articles as a search engine optimization 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 a search engine optimization expert, also as a Google Shopping and Google AdWords (now called Google Ads) professional, as well.

Dallas Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association logo

In 2004, Bill Hartzer founded the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association, (now called State of Search) which started with his hand-picked list of 16 fellow SEO professionals 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 Texas once a year. Mr. Hartzer was the State of Search conference Chair in 2019 and was conference Chair in 2020. State of Search is a search industry and digital marketing conference held in Dallas, Texas every year. He has served on the Board of the organization most recently from 2019 to 2021, along with serving numerous times throughout the organization’s founding in 2004. In October 2022, the DFWSEM Association was renamed and re-branded as the State of Search association.

Full-Time Expert Witnesses

Other expert witnesses appear to be “full time” witnesses, providing expert 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 search engine optimization, social media marketing, and working with domain name issues daily.

Expert Witness: Recent Legal 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.

  • checkmarkSEO Agency sued by their former client regarding SEO-related performance issues with their website. Hired by SEO Agency’s law firm to provide my opinions on the SEO agency’s performance. Ongoing, 2022 to 2024.
  • checkmarkFormer employees left company, started their own competing service, and used the same name, causing confusion. Hired by the first company to provide opinions related to usage of the company name by the former employee on his website and in online advertising Ongoing, 2023 to 2024.
  • checkmarkLaw firm sued by former Law Firm Partner for continuing to use the Partner’s name as a part of the law firm’s name. Hired by the former Partner to provide opinions related to use of the Partner’s name without permission, as well as issues related to the firm’s lack of rebranding online to a name without using the former Partner’s name. Search engine results, website content, and internet advertising all involved. Ongoing, 2023 to 2024.
  • checkmarkPhysician sued hospital system and other Physicians related to negative social media posts and related published article in the media. Hired by the physician to provide opinions related to online reputation. Ongoing, 2023 to 2024.
  • checkmarkBusiness owner sues his former attorney for malpractice related to a case that attorney handled for the business owner. The results of the case caused negative web pages about the business owner to show up in the search engine results for the business owner’s name. Hired by the business owner to provide opinions related to online reputation management and the costs associated with repairing the business owner’s online reputation. Ongoing, 2023 to 2024.
  • checkmarkPhysicians and healthcare providers sued websites using their images and likenesses without permission and running advertisements on web pages created about them. Hired by the Physician’s and healthcare providers’ law firm to provide opinions on the amount of website traffic and search engine queries involved, and how the websites are making money from using the images and likenesses of the Plaintiffs in the case. Ongoing, 2023 to 2024.
  • checkmarkWebsite sues competitor for copying content from their website and publishing that content on their website. Hired by Plaintiff’s law firm to provide opinions on the use of copied website content and if it contributed to additional website traffic from search engines to the competitor’s website. Ongoing, 2023 to 2024.
  • checkmarkCompetitor sued by the Plaintiff for using a keyword phrase (related to a job title) on their website. Hired by Defendant’s law firm to provide opinions related to the usage of that keyword phrase on the internet before the Plaintiff began using the keyword phrase as a part of their business. Ongoing, 2023 to 2024.
  • checkmarkCompetitor sued by the Plaintiff for manipulating the Google search engine’s auto suggest feature as well as creating links to the competitor’s website that caused confusion between the two companies. Hired by Plaintiff’s law firm to provide opinions on the usage and manipulation of Google’s auto suggest feature, as well as link data. Ongoing, 2022 to 2024.
  • checkmarkOnline Retailer, Intellectual Property case regarding domain names and websites. Hired to evaluate content on websites and perform forensic domain name ownership analysis. May 2023.
  • checkmarkProduct Manufacturer, Intellectual Property Report. Hired by an Orlando, Florida based Law Firm to research and provide my opinions in the form of an expert report related to internet search engine results and archived internet web pages. June 2022.
  • checkmarkBob Agahi and Valley East Properties, LLC v. Kevin Richard Kelly and Krista Kelly, Case CV2021-009873, Arizona Superior Court, Maricopa County. Retained as an expert witness by the Defendants, April 2022. Prepared and expert witness report.
  • checkmarkTodd Graves Golf School, LLC v. Kirk Alan Junge, D/B/A Single Plane Golf Schools, Civil Action No. 9:21-cv-80793-AMC, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division – Retained as an expert witness by the Plaintiff, January 2022. Prepared an expert witness report and supplemental report, deposed March 2022.
  • checkmarkO’Connor Enterprise Group, Inc., DBA EPC Group, v. Kaiser Group Ventures, LLC and Aaron Kaiser, No. 2020-71475, District Court of Harris County Texas, 164th Judicial District – Retained as an expert witness by the Plaintiff, May 2021. Prepared an expert witness report, October 2021.
  • Soter Technologies, LLC v IP Video Corporation, A+ Technology & Security, Inc., & Advance Convergence Group, Inc., Civil Action No. 20-cv-05007-LJL, United States District Court For The Southern District of New York – Retained as an expert witness by the Plaintiff. May 2021.
  • checkmarkPaid Search Engine Tools, LLC v. Google Canada Corporation, Google LLC, and Alphabet Inc., Docket Number T-40-18, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Federal Court) – Retained as an expert witness by the Plaintiff, December 2020.
  • checkmarkSt George Executive Shuttle, Inc. v. Western Trails Charters & Tours LLC, d/b/a Salt Lake Express, Civil Action No. 2:17-cv-00900-BCW, United States District Court for the District of Utah Central Division – Retained as an expert witness. Prepared an expert witness report.
  • checkmarkSchilling v. Schilling, Cause Number FAM 227 of 2017, Grand Court of the Cayman Islands – Retained as an expert witness. Prepared an expert witness affidavit, testified in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.
  • John Hart v. Michael Galantino, John Walker – Case Number 1106, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County – Civil Division – Retained as a 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 a witness. Prepared a report, provided rebuttal report, deposed.
  • checkmarkA.B. Cernelle v. Graminex, LLC and Cynthia May – Case Number 03-10291 – Prepared an expert report, testified in Federal District Court, Detroit, in April 2019 as an expert. 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 a witness in this search engine optimization and lead generation case.
  • checkmarkChristopher Hamilton v. Summa Consulting – Case 37-2014-00011235-CU-FR-CTL – Retained as a Search Engine Optimization and Domain Name witness.
  • checkmarkBrightedge Technologies, Inc. V. Searchmetrics GMBH and Searchmetrics, Inc. – Case 3:14-cv-01009 WHO – Retained as a witness.

SEO Consultant, Digital Marketing, Domain Name Consultant: Expert SEO Services

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 search engine optimization services in 9 different languages. He is Google Certified, and a Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) Certified Individual.

SEO and Digital Marketing is Difficult

Search Engine Optimization 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 Internet Marketing or SEO Expert Witness

Mr. Hartzer isn’t a full-time witness, which actually is a good thing. Someone who is a full-time 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, SEO expert, and Domain Name Expert first, and part time 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 Search Engine Optimization litigation, and Mr. Hartzer has the expertise to research, analyze, and provide professional opinions on these issues.

As a formally trained technical writer (Mr. Hartzer 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.

Expert Witness and Expert Witnessing Experience

Many legal cases involve a lot more than just search engine optimization. In fact, all of the cases at the United States 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, domain names, 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. Even using SEO before it was called SEO. He has over 18,000 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, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and social media, the professional you hire must understand domains. Not only is Mr. Hartzer fully involved with the domain name industry in the buying and selling of domain names, 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, especially in the areas of SEO.

Upcoming Litigation and Availability for Expert Witnessing

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 a professional 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.

Expert Witness Evidence in SEO & Digital Marketing Cases

Since Mr. Hartzer is actively practicing search engine optimization and digital marketing every single day for his clients, he is very up to date in the latest SEO-related Tools. This is important, as there’s inevitably going to be evidence that will need to be reviewed by the expert and compared to current online tools and resources that back up (and prove) data that’s provided as evidence in the case. This can include website traffic data, website visitors, search engine crawling activity, search engine ranking activity, and other data provided as evidence in your case.

As a search engine optimization professional, Mr. Hartzer is the perfect person to provide you with his professional opinion as an expert witness. For a detailed resume or CV, as well as the industries and topics Mr. Hartzer has provided services in, please contact him. Or, if you prefer, send an email: Hello @

    1. Industry experience, especially with SEO, internet marketing, digital marketing, and Google is imperative.
    2. Experience as an expert witness, with litigation and actual courtroom experience, is a must.

Frequently Asked Questions about Expert Witnesses

There are several questions that are asked about expert witnesses, and their role in legal cases. Here are a few frequently asked questions about SEO Expert Witnesses, Internet Expert Witnesses, Domain Name Expert Witnesses, and PPC (Google Ads and Google AdWords) Expert Witnesses.

What is an SEO Expert Witness?

An SEO Expert Witness, also referred to as a Search Engine Optimization Expert Witness, uses their search engine optimization experience to provide their opinions regarding issues in a legal case. Usually, this involves the SEO expert performing a technical analysis of the issues, and providing their expert opinions. An SEO Expert Witness is hired by a law firm to provide the analysis and opinions in an unbiased manner when a legal case involves search engine results pages. An SEO Expert Witness provides professional expertise in court cases and legal matters related to search engine optimization. They offer insights and testimonies on SEO best practices, the effects of SEO on digital marketing, and can analyse the technical aspects of websites in the context of litigation.

What is an Internet Expert Witness?

An Internet Expert Witness uses their professional internet experience, having worked in the internet industry for over 20 years, to provide their opinions regarding issues in a legal case. Usually, this involves the internet expert performing an analysis of the issues, and providing their expert opinions. An Internet Expert Witness is hired by a law firm to provide the analysis and opinions in an unbiased manner when a legal case involves the internet. This could include Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing (Pay Per Click and Google Ads), Website Marketing, Websites and Web Design, Web Development, Website Traffic, Domain Names, Internet Advertising, and Digital Marketing.

What is a Domain Name Expert Witness?

A Domain Name Expert Witness uses their internet domain name experience to provide their opinions regarding issues in a legal case. Usually, this involves the domain name expert performing an analysis of the domain names, how the domain names have been used, and providing their expert opinions. A domain name expert witness is hired by a law firm to provide the analysis and opinions in an unbiased manner when a legal case involves internet domain names.

How can an SEO Expert Witness impact the outcome of a legal case?

An expert’s testimony can be pivotal in legal disputes involving digital marketing and online presence. By providing in-depth analyses and objective opinions, an SEO Expert Witness can help the court understand complex technical issues and contribute to a fair resolution of the case.

What kind of cases require an SEO Expert Witness?

Any case where SEO practices and their results are under scrutiny might benefit from an SEO Expert Witness. This includes disputes over trademark infringement, defamation through SEO practices, contract disagreements involving SEO services, and more.

How long does it typically take for an SEO Expert Witness to prepare for a case?

The timeline for case preparation can vary significantly based on the complexity of the case and the amount of data to analyze. Typical cases may require several weeks to a few months for a thorough analysis and the development of a detailed report.

What is a PPC or Google Ads Expert Witness?

A PPC Expert Witness, also referred to as a Pay Per Click or Google Ads Expert Witness, uses their pay per click (or Google Ads) experience to provide their opinions regarding issues in a legal case. Usually, this involves the PPC expert performing a technical analysis of the issues such as reviewing the keywords used in Google Ads campaigns, reviewing the actual ad copy used in the campaigns, and providing their expert opinions. An PPC or Google Ads Expert Witness is hired by a law firm to provide the analysis and opinions in an unbiased manner when a legal case involves internet advertising, such as with Google Ads or Microsoft Ads.

Can an SEO Expert Witness help during the discovery phase?

Yes, an SEO Expert Witness is instrumental during the discovery phase. They can help in identifying relevant data, providing questions for interrogatories, and understanding complex SEO documents and materials that are uncovered.

What qualifications should I look for in an SEO Expert Witness?

When seeking an expert witness, look for an individual with substantial SEO industry experience, a strong track record of success in similar cases, and ideally, someone with formal credentials in digital marketing or a related field.

  • Substantial experience in SE
  • Success in past legal testimonies or case involvement
  • Advanced understanding of digital marketing strategies and search engine algorithms
  • Excellent communication skills for delivering effective testimony
  • Formal qualifications in digital marketing or related fields

Bill Hartzer of Hartzer Consulting

Hartzer’s knowledge extends to the technical and strategic aspects of managing a website’s presence on the internet, including the significance of uniform resource locators (URLs) in e-commerce and digital marketing. His proficiency in Google Analytics and web analytics allows him to provide detailed insights into website performance and user behavior, which are critical for businesses looking to optimize their online operations. This analytical skill set, combined with his background in web development, enables Hartzer to offer comprehensive advice on both the technical and strategic components of digital commerce. As a liaison between the tech world and the legal field, Hartzer aids lawyers in understanding the complex digital landscape, thus facilitating the pursuit of justice in cases where technology and law intersect.

SEO Expert Witness: Contact

To contact Bill Hartzer, you can call 214-236-4378 or send an email to [email protected].

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