Google and other major search engines have very complex algorithms that study a website in-depth and look for terms, photos, and long descriptions that are relevant to any advertising connected with the URL. In addition, search engines determine the intent of the browsing individual and rank websites according to how well the destination webpage handshakes with the query.
Those who seek to lower a competitor’s Google ranking often build what is known as a link farm and then create a further link that connects the farm with the competitor’s web site. This is known as Google bowling, and although it is rarely a successful venture, it can indeed affect the reputation of the competitor’s company and the products/services it offers.
Specifics Of Google Bowling
Ever since Google has implemented its advanced Penguin algorithm method of webpage analysis, various means have been used by competing webmasters in an attempt to fool the search analysis results. Specifically, Google bowling is the creation of what appears to be valid links to the target site. These links are not connected to the attacker’s own webpages, but instead are created on a special software program that is similar to an online mall.
For a modest purchase price – and sometimes even for free – the attacker can create hundreds or even thousands of link banners and link text. These can be placed on blogs pages, online shopping mall pages, and even on affiliate advertising pages. The theory is that the ensuing wave of clicks made by those who are not specifically searching for exactly what the competitor offers will make their way to the target pages anyway. Google would respond by lowering the ranking of the competitor’s site because relevant search terms are no longer accounting for the bulk of visits to that page.
Google has recently announced that the Penguin algorithms take this into account, and that very rarely will a page ranking be affected by these so-called bad farm links. However, those who seek to lower the rankings of a competitor’s webpage have other means of negative SEO at their disposal, and honest webmasters who want to understand how to protect themselves from these attacks are encouraged to study them in detail.
Negative SEO Tactics
One of the more commonly used methods is the linking of irrelevant websites to the competitor’s site. Links from nonsense-filled blog posts are often a sign that a competitor is trying to lower the honest webmaster’s Google ranking.
Anchor text filled with strange keywords are often used as links and are from multiple sources. This could theoretically confuse the Penguin algorithm for a while and damage a site’s ranking.
Understanding The Difference
A company may have purchased a link-building package in the past, and now these links have become self-replicating. This is not the work of an attacker but rather a problem associated with the suffering webpage and its administrator. Another example of rank-dropping that is not the result of negative SEO is unnatural linking caused when a marketing consultant outsources the SEO keyword and linking job to an outside third party. The webpage could be connected to spammy bookmarks and forum signatures, and the sad part is that the victimized website’s administrator probably paid for this poor service.
Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_bomb