According to Webmaster World, if you go by Google's words, then your competing websites can not harm your website rankings in any manner. But it is a harsh reality that these days many Webmasters deploy dirty trade tricks to defame a competitive website. This is also known as 'Google Bowling'. These methods severely damage your website's rankings as well as it's credibility. Some of the most common deceitful tactics employed these days are:
- Spam: A competing Webmaster can use scam script that will leave your site's URL in thousands of blog comments and forums. This would make the Google spiders believe that you are spamming those sites. This will greatly affect your ranking and credibility as well.
- Banning a Domain in Social Media: Many competitors create multiple accounts in social media sites and use those accounts to repeatedly submit your content. This continued process of submission results in a Flag or ban from the media site, as the Webmaster thinks that your are promoting your site through unfair means.
- Spam Link Buying : The competitors can submit your website to the infamous link farms that have been flagged or banned by every search engine. When this happens, it destroys your back links and thus gives a major hit to your trust rankings.
- 301 Hijacking: A 301 redirect is primarily used by the Webmasters in order to redirect a visitor to website's new location. It is a legitimate technique which is used by Webmasters all over the Internet. For instance, if you have brought a new domain and would like to move your site as well a your site traffic to the new domain. A competitor by hacking your website can steal your site traffic and your rankings as well.
- Click Fraud: A competitor can dramatically lower your AdWords' conversion percentage by repeatedly clicking on your campaign. You'll be paying for the increased clicks, but there wouldn't be any sales, thus making your campaign extremely unprofitable.
These are just some of the way by which a competitor can sabotage your Google ratings and either put you at the bottom of the SERPs or kick you entirely out of the online business.