What is an SEO going to do when a certain competitor ranks better and it seems impossible to catch up with him? He’ll either increase his regular SEO efforts even more, or think about using black hat SEO. Lately, a black hat SEO technique called “Google Bowling” has attracted the attention of the SEO community.
What is “Google Bowling” aka “reverse SEO“?
“Google Bowling“, also called “reverse SEO” is a technique, based on the simple fact that there is a second way of getting on top of the Google search results:
- increasing your own rank
- decreasing your competitor’s rank
Google Bowling is an SEO technique that is capable of decreasing a competitor’s rank in the Google Search Engine.
How does “Google Bowling” aka “reverse SEO” work?
Is it really possible to decrease a competitor’s rank without touching his website? - Yes it is possible.
Google Bowling exploits the ranking penalty algorithms that Google applies to websites that are playing against the rules by spamming other websites with inbound links.
To bowl a website from the top of the Google results, an opponent needs to spam a huge amount of other websites with links to the target website in a short amount of time, to trigger Google’s Anti-Spam algorithms. If the efforts are successful, Google will think that the target website is trying to illegitimately increase their rankings through spamming and apply a ranking penalty to that website, dropping it from the top search results or even making it completely dissapear from the SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages).
Due to the huge amount of spam links needed for a successful Google Bowl, I believe that it is impossible to Google Bowl manually. From what I have heard, Google Bowling is mostly done with automated website spamming software which targets forums or blogs with comment spam.
Is Google Bowling easy?
I haven’t done Google Bowling myself and I am not planning to do it, but from what I have heard and from my knowledge about the Google Algorithms, it should not be an easy task due to the huge amount of successful spam needed within a short period of time.
Is Google Bowling legal? Should I try this?
No. Do not try to Google bowl your competitors. This is definately an illegal activity and you might get sued for this. You have been warned…
Protection against Google Bowling
At the moment, I cannot think of any useful protection against Google Bowling except that Google finds a way to adjust their algorithms to make Google Bowling impossible.
I can imagine that it is also hard to prove Google Bowling as a victim, but if you should have any evidence that a competitor is trying to Google bowl your website, I would recommend to contact your lawyer to take care of this.