I feel a little guilty telling our readers this, but the answer to the question above is a very qualified yes. That is to say, yes, you can “help” get your competitor’s websites penalized, however it’s extremely difficult to do and is unlikely to work. Here’s why:
The classic way to do this is using what is known as “Google Bowling.” The idea here is that Google doesn’t like when people buy links or exchange links with each other. Therefore, when they see a site suddenly getting 50,000 links added to their backlink portfolio, Google starts to wonder what these guys are doing to have gotten so many links added to their site.
However, Matt Cutts from Google has stated that Google uses certain algorithms to ensure that others can’t Google Bowl you. They work really hard to make sure what the situation is so that they don’t accidentally penalize someone who engages in this practice. That said, there are a few ways to do this.
The easiest thing to do, although for all practical purposes it’s not really going to help you to know this is to Google Bowl a brand new website. If you happened to know of a competitor who had done no backlinking as of yet and who perhaps wasn’t even indexed yet, then you could Google Bowl them.
The reason is that Google’s algorithm would assume that the competitor in question wouldn’t have been able to get that many links on their own and wouldn’t have been Google Bowled by anyone because they are not yet a threat to anyone.
The thing is, if they haven’t got any backlinks and they haven’t been indexed yet, they are, as I said, probably no threat to you whatsoever and you probably won’t know that they even exist. Therefore, from a practical perspective, it’s not really possible to Google Bowl such competitors even though it’s theoretically possible.
Doing Google Bowling with an older site is much less effective for the simple reason that you would have to create so many backlinks from junk sites that it’s not really practical to do it to an older site. Instead, the junk links would be ignored by Google as a Google Bowling attempt by a competitor.
Here’s another way you may be able to sabotage your competitors, but only if they are idiots and you’ve got lots and lots of time on your hands. As anyone who knows anything about Google knows, they don’t like reciprocal links. While a handful of them is generally not a problem, thousands of them can be a problem.
Therefore, you might be able to sabotage a competitor by bombarding them with offers of reciprocal links from fake websites that you create. Again though, they’d have to be idiots who know nothing about Google, meaning that they probably won’t be any real kind of competition to you to begin with.