What Laws Govern SEO

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With an increased amount of growth among search engines, they are constantly trying to gain as much control as they can. In spite of this, there is also an increase in the amount of issues popping up from a legal sense. Some examples include trademark  and copyright, competition law, consumer protection laws, and of course freedom of speech law.

What Regulations are Involved with SEO

  • Labor and employment law
  • Copyright and trademark law
  • Antitrust laws
  • Intellectual property law

What Threats are Involved with SEO?

Just like anything else online, the threat of opening a page that can infect your computer is always there. You will never know if adware, viruses, or malware have infected your computer until it is too late.

Is it Legal To Use a A Search Engine?

A search engine does not create the page content that it lists and thus the engine can legally list the websites based on rankings. The page content itself is written by a third party.

Understanding Intellectual Property Law

In the case of intellectual property law, it is referred to as the explicit use of trademark property without permission and for self gain. This could involve the use of content from a website, keywords, or a tag. In worse cases, representation is created falsely.

A good example of this is when a business uses another company name as a keyword and when a customer searches for the name of the retailer a different website also pops up as a result. This intern allows another page to get exposure in a roundabout way.

With SEO having no borders makes it a challenge to regulate and even when there are laws governing IP, the ability to enforce SEO will always remain lagging regardless of how much technology is available.

There are a couple of cases that play perfectly within intellectual property. The first involves Brookfield Communications vs West Coast Entertainment. The bad part in the case was the fact that there was no clear understanding due to trademark law being different among other countries. In fact, some countries do not even recognize what initial interest is and is what ultimately caused US courts to make the decision that it made.

The other case that made an attempt to stop black hat SEO was between Playboy vs Terri Welles where the trademark was used in a way that was not considered trademark infringement due to the way it was used.

Intellectual Property Law Online

No matter where the idea stems from, having intellectual property law allows them to be protected so that they remain the property of the owner. This law also stems online and helps to preserve web content and even content that has not been published yet. When you are aware of what intellectual law is about, then you will have an easier time with your SEO efforts and maintaining a website that is always optimized.


SEO has come a long way for websites and luckily there are laws that help to keep content safe. If you have content that could benefit from the current laws, then you should call us today to go over how you would benefit.