Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) removed Rap Genius, a music-lyrics website from its search engine results after discovering that it is using search engine optimization (SEO) scheme to improve its ranking.
Rap Genius was punished by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) after admitting that it violated the search engine giant’s SEO policy. In a blog post, the founders of Rap Genius explained their strategies to enhance search rank by urging bloggers to insert a back link to the lyrics of Justin Bieber’s new album “Journal” on their website. In exchange, they offered to tweet a link to the bloggers post.
According to Rap Genius founders said they messed up using such strategy, which they thought would be beneficial for the followers of their website and complies with the linking policy of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). The search engine giant’s terms of service stipulates, “Additionally, creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines.”
“This is where we messed up. Though any links to our tracks that our fans put on their pages were editorially placed or vouched for by them, in some instances we have fallen short in terms of making sure that the links people post are natural,” admitted Rap Genius.
Danny Sullivan, an expert in search engine commented that it is unlikely that SEO scheme of Rap Genius went far. He described that attempt as “fairly dumb” on many aspects given the fact that “savvy SEO understand that getting the exact same type of links in a sudden burst is probably going to cause you problems with Google.”
Although the current problem of Rap Genius with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is temporary as it tries to resolve the issue with the search engine giant, Sullivan noted that the situation could bring possible long-term harm to its business.
“it’s probably an incredibly dumb business model to be doing a lyrics site that hopes for Google traffic in a time when Google, like Bing, is moving toward providing direct answers. Lyrics, to my understanding, often have to be licensed. That makes them a candidate for Google to license directly and provide as direct answers,” said Sullivan.
Rap Genius said it would do everything to learn and comply with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), it does not want to violate the rules of the search engine giant.