Rap Genius punishment highlights importance of ethical SEO

Digital Marketing, Industry News By Rhys Little, 14th January 2014

Hip hop lyrics website Rap Genius has found its way back into Google’s good books after being punished by the search giant for using unethical SEO tactics, completemusicupdate.com reports.

The site was blocked in December for trying to gain links from bloggers to manipulate its position in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

According to nme.com, users of Rap Genius, which was established in 2009, have the ability to upload rap lyrics and then annotate them with comments and meanings for others to enjoy.

With significant financial backing and a user-base of millions, the start-up has also begun venturing into other areas, such as rock music, poetry and even news. However, it is thought that the site lost as much as 80 per cent of its regular traffic over the Christmas period as a result of Google’s punishment.

The penalty was issued after entrepreneur John Marbach claimed in a blog post that he had been approached by Rap Genius’s owners about providing a link to a certain page. Since being reinstated by Google, however, the company has issued a statement on its website, which reads:

“It takes a few days for things to return to normal, but we’re officially back! First of all, we owe a big thanks to Google for being fair and transparent and allowing us back onto their results pages. We overstepped, and we deserved to get smacked.”

The owners went on to apologise to Google and said they regretted their actions.