This is one of those questions which comes up every now and again in the SEO community but tends to get skimmed over because there’s not a huge amount of conclusive information available on it.
“If a bad (spam) site links to me, will it damage my rankings by association?”
This naturally has to lead on to the more important question for SEO’s:
“If I buy bad links for my competitor will it damage their rankings and therefore help mine?”
I doubt many SEO’s haven’t ever though about ways to do a number on their competitors and mess up their rankings. As search results become more and more competitive, competitor sabotage is at some point going to become to the SEO world what click fraud is to paid search. Except with SEO you’ll have no Google account manager to run to when someones out to mess up your rankings. Let me start with a hypothesis:
Probably the fastest and easiest way to take down a site is by pointing spammy paid links at it.
There I said it.
This isn’t just speculation. I’m going to share with you a few examples of exactly how this could happen. In these examples I nobbled myself but I believe I could just as easily of nobbled a competitor with the exact same tactics. Hold tight as we cross over to the dark side people!