Is it possible to damage your search engine rankings by having lots of spammy sites linking to your site?
More specifically, could my competitors get me “bowled out” of the search engine rankings by submitting my site (without my permission) to link farms and other bad quality sites?
This myth is called “Googlebowling” – and by the way, this has more to do with loud shirts and beer, rather than Freddie Flintoff.
Nope, its not possible to get “bowled out” of Google by poor quality inbound links.
Google make it absolutely clear that “links from these sites won’t harm your site, they won’t help your indexing or ranking. Only natural links add value and are helpful for indexing and ranking your site.“
What will cause problems is when your website links out to these bad sites.
So don’t lose sleep over getting Googlebowled, but then again, don’t bet tempted to give links to unscrupulous sites only to get rubbish links back.