There are many facets to SEO, some are generally known while others remain privileged knowledge to the elite few. To the large majority of marketers, SEO is the basic practice of increasing rankings organically. To a smaller group, black hat SEO is a way to increase those same rankings by exploiting “flaws” in the algorithm. And to those very aware, Negative SEO is a way to decrease your competitor’s rankings and favor yours.
One of the earliest occurrences of this practice came in the late 00’s when Google started penalising site that purchased links in order to rank quicker. Links are an important ranking factor and prior to the Penguin update, quantity over quality was favored. Naturally, buying bulk links and pointing them to your domain would increase rankings. After the update, those link-farms would punish the domain rather than help and ultimately affect ranking.
Google bowling-How it’s used?
Simply put an unscrupulous competitor can purchase spammy links and instead of pointing them towards their site points them towards you. Have this happen often enough and not only will your rankings take a hit, but your site might be flagged altogether.
How do I protect my site?
Prevention is KEY is this area, and although Penguin 4.0 update has rendered it more difficult to Google Bowl, a simple site maintenance of disavowing links can save lots of trouble. You can use a tool like SEMRUSH or do it manually (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en)