There seems to be some discussion on the SEO forums about a new hole in the Google search engine algorithms. Before you get excited about a potential new way to skew the results in a favorable manner for your website, I have to tell you that this alleged loophole is more about sabotaging a competitor’s position in the Google search engine. While I personally haven’t seen any reliable reports on Google Bowling, that’s what people are calling it, I have read about the theory behind it.
Google Bowling is where website “A” goes out and buys a bunch of site wide text links using website “B’s” information. In theory the purchasing of site wide links is no longer an acceptable practice for developing link popularity. Not too long ago the acquisition of many inbound links could instantaneously boost a website’s popularity so that said website would rank well within Google. This practice gained the attention of the Google engineers and soon after, a filter was put in place to eliminate this form of manipulation.
Google had an opportunity to solve this problem by nullifying the benefit of this style of linking. Instead, as the theory goes, Google made it so that any site practicing site wide text link purchasing, would get a time out in the sandbox. (As someone who has a site suffering long term in the sandbox, I just wanted to let you all know that I have dibs on the yellow dump truck and backhoe in the corner of the sandbox.)
If Google Bowling is in fact a reality then the websites who do get attacked in this manner by their competitors, will also be receiving a lot of free traffic from all of these text links. Not to mention better placement in Yahoo and MSN searches. I will keep you all posted on this topic as I learn more about it.