Earlier this week, it was revealed that lyrics site Rap Genius was using spammy tactics in order to get its pages placed higher in Google's search results. Turns out Google wasn't happy with their secretive method, and laid penalties down on the company that could leave Rap Genius hurting for awhile.
The punishment sees Rap Genius' SEO ranking dramatically lowered, so when you search for lyrics, other websites will be placed higher than theirs. Way higher. Now, if you go to Google and search Rap Genius, the website won't pop up on the first page. Seriously. Pages about Rap Genius will still display, like its Twitter and Wikipedia page, but not any pages from the site itself. Even stories about Rap Genius' punishment are ranking higher than the site.
The Rap Genius founders tried to make nice, and posted a public apology on the site directed at Google.
We effed up, other lyrics sites are almost definitely doing worse stuff, and we’ll stop. We’d love for Google to take a closer look at the whole lyrics search landscape and see whether it can make changes that would improve lyric search results.
The company had asked bloggers to add tagged links to Justin Bieber's Rap Genius pages at the bottom of their posts, and in turn, Rap Genius said they would tweet out the blogger's posts, promising them a ton of traffic. By adding those Rap Genius link to their posts, the blogger would be giving the lyrics site some extra power in Google traffic.
At the end of their apology, the founders even tried to rat out other sites that used tactics that Google might find suspicious.
For shame, Rap Genius. For shame. No word yet on how long this punishment will last, but Rap Genius could be hurtin' for a minute.