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Rap Genius returns to Google search results

By | Published on Monday 6 January 2014

Rap Genius

Popular lyrics website Rap Genius has begun appearing in Google searches again, having been banished from the search engine over the Christmas break for breaching the search engine’s rules on incentivised reciprocal links. But only after lots of repenting and a little snitching by bosses at the lyrics site.

As previously reported, it emerged that Rap Genius was not appearing in Google searches on Boxing Day, it having been banished from the search engine over a ‘Rap Genius blog affiliate’ programme announced just before Christmas. A blogger enquiring about the scheme was told that if he linked to Justin Bieber lyrics on the Rap Genius site from his blog, he would be rewarded with a promotional tweet about his site from the lyrics service’s official account.

In theory, due to the way Google’s system works, the more bloggers Rap Genius convinced to link back to its Bieber pages, the higher they would appear in Google searches for the definitely not retired pop scamp. But Google doesn’t take kindly to websites gaming its search results in this way, and responded by refusing to serve up any Rap Genius links to anyone at all.

The lyrics site responded by admitting it had “effed up”, but said it had thought the affiliate scheme was within the rules. It also said that many of its rivals were doing “worse stuff” and urged Google to “take a closer look at the whole lyrics search landscape”.

Whether Google is doing just that isn’t known, though the Rap Genius team have now convinced the web giant that they are sufficiently sorry about their SEO tricks, and that they won’t do such a thing ever again.

In a long blog post about the ordeal, published as Rap Genius was let back into the Google world, said team wrote: “To Google and our fans: we’re sorry for being such morons. We regret our foray into irrelevant unnatural linking. We’re [now] 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”.