I don’t know if it’s link baiting or what, but at least a thread got my attention. At first glance, it’s somehow easier to conclude that this scheme doesn’t work. But let’s try to get around the rationale.
Most probably, if you’re approached by someone representing a company or as an individual claiming to have special powers that influence search engines to drag your competitors’ keyword rankings, he’s an extortionist at best.
I can offer the following services: drop your competitors PageRank and keyword rankings. I have an extensive link network across forums, link farms and directories. Your competitor is listed on those pages because they asked me to do a link campaign for them. If you pay this amount of money, I can manage to drop their rankings and PageRank value.
If you don’t take his services, the tactic changes so that he starts blackmailing:
If you don’t take my services, your Google rankings will fall.
My advice is to allow them to take the honor of doing so.
Google has mentioned that there’s no reason to worry.
There’s almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you’re concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don’t control the content of these pages.
What these companies/individuals could do is to improve competitor rankings. In effect it drags your rankings. However, the playing field doesn’t only involve your site and your competitor’s so sliding of your rankings can’t immediately be attributed to him getting better rankings. There are other factors.
Google is the search engine in question because it is thought that this search engine that gives high regard on inbound link quality.
As far as I know, the only other way off-page optimization that worked before was Google Bombing, where anchor links play a role in keyword ranking of websites. But it was before, and now the issue has been corrected.
So if someone makes a similar offer, don’t waste your time dealing with him/her. If it were reputation management, it’s another issue and may be worth discussing especially if you are dealing with hate websites.