How Google Handles Google Bowling

    June 3, 2009
    Chris Crum

In a Q&A session at SMX Advanced in Seattle, Google’s Matt Cutts was asked the following question:

How does Google look at the issue that I can buy suspect links and point them to my competitor? How does your algorithm track that?

This practice is known as "Google Bowling". To get a better understanding of what Google Bowling (different from Google Bombing) is about, check out this article from Michael Pedone from 2005 about how competitors can sabotage you.

Matt CuttsMatt discussed how Google deals with this. In the session he said:

The short answer is we try really hard to make sure that one person can’t Google bowl another person. You try to include it in your algorithm so much that you don’t want those links to count, but you don’t necessarily want anyone to be in a position where somebody else could try to hurt you….

We try to make it so that it doesn’t cause a drop in your rankings (if a competitor tries to hurt you). We try to do stuff algorithmically, we use manual means…we’ve been pretty clear that we do not like paid links and we take action on it, but at the same time, we try very hard to make it so that just because somebody else doesn’t like you, they can’t submarine your rankings and things like that.

It’s good to know that Google is keeping the best interest of those being "bowled" in mind. It would be interesting to know people’s opinions about how well they’re actually handling this.

Has this ever happened to you? Do you think Google does a good job handling it? Share your thoughts with other WebProNews readers.

Also, stay tuned to WebPronews for more coverage of the SMX Advanced conference from Seattle (that goes for articles and for video). You will also be seeing more info from Matt’s Q&A session, specifically.