Rap Genius, a lyrics database website, has been caught by Google trying to bolster its search engine ranking by offering link backs to blogs on its Twitter account. Google found Rap Genius in violation and has slapped them with a penalty. Google doesn’t take kindly to websites trying to skirt their SEO rules and now Rap Genius will pay for it. Rap genius did issue an apology:
On Rap Genius, users and the artists themselves explore lyrics interactively via line-by-line annotations that they can read, create, and edit. By contrast, other popular lyrics sites are ad-strewn and reminiscent of a spammier era of the internet. For example, compare Rap Genius’ annotated edition of Justin Bieber’s new hit single “Heartbreaker” – which dozens of Bieber fans have annotated with details of his break up with Selena Gomez – to AZLyrics’ version of the same.
That’s our main SEO strategy: to create an amazing experience for users and hope they prefer us to all other lyrics sites and link to us. We believe that any unbiased userwould prefer the Rap Genius version over the alternatives – and that this advantage in quality is responsible for the majority of our search traffic.
The other strategy we employ on a much smaller scale (the subject of recent Hacker News controversy) is to find blogs whose content we think our followers will enjoy and ask them to link pages on Rap Genius that are relevant to their posts. We actually thought we had set this up to be compliant with Google’s linking policy in its Terms of Service, but we messed up and want to explain how. Here’s a look at this strategy in relation to Google’s guidelines:
One things for certain. A Google SEO penalty is not something you want for your site. Page ranking will be hurt and traffic will suffer. Click the link for source and more.
- Rap Genius Website shunned for Trying to Game Google : worldleaks (worldleakss.wordpress.com)
- Google Obliterates Buzzy Startup Rap Genius For Trying To Game The System (GOOG) (businessinsider.com)
- Google takes Rap Genius website down a notch (omaha.com)