Google Cuts Rap Genius A Break

Search engine titan ends punishment over SEO scandal.

Posted: 01/06/2014 11:19 AM EST
Filed Under Google, Music News

Rap Genius

Rap Genuis is "officially back" in Google's good graces.  

A little over a week after it banished Rap Genius for sneaky SEO tactics, Google has allowed the lyrics site back onto its front search page.

Rap Genius announced the return to Google in an apologetic new post calling the Internet company "fair and transparent" for reprimanding and restoring their presence online. The longwinded breakdown launches with clarifying how RG's original "link-building strategy" differs from the one described in the email from company co-founder Mahbod Moghadam, sent to writer John Marbach, asking that blog affiliates secretly embed links to increase the site's traffic. 

The act of trickery was "really bad," "lazy," "likely ineffective," and "begging for a response from Google," the company admitted. 

After "manually" examining some 3,000 URLs (to weed out and remove "unnatural links") the multi-million start-up solved its problem, and ended the dizzying explanation with another nod to Google for showing mercy. "To Google and our fans: we're sorry for being such morons. We regret our foray into irrelevant unnatural linking," read the post, ending with a promise to do better. "We're focused on building the best site in the world for understanding lyrics, poetry, and prose and watching it naturally rise to the top of the search results."

Since Google didn't release a statement on the SEO scheme, there's a good chance that the disciplinary action against Rap Genius was comment enough, and the "Wikipedia of rap" site definitely felt the burn. Traffic to Rap Genius -- which typically hovers above 1 million unique visitors a day -- dropped by 60 percent within a day of being virtually wiped from the search engine site.  

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(Photo: Brian Ach/Getty Images  for TechCrunch)

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