After it was revealed that Rap Genius had used SEO spam in order to make it to the top of some Google searches, the search engine punished the site by nearly expelling it from all searches.
Following 10 days of dealing with presumably far less traffic than usual, Rap Genius has been returned to the top of search results and is now back on Google’s good side. Now that it is out of the mess it created, Rap Genius is owning up to the fact that it screwed up and should have been punished, but is thankful that Google is allowing it to return to the search engine as it previously had.
To Google and our fans: we’re sorry for being such morons. We regret our foray into irrelevant unnatural linking. We overstepped, and we deserved to get smacked. – Rap Genius
As large as Rap Genius may seem, it only received 650,000 visitors each day according to research firm Quantcast. However, that number was even smaller during the 10-day penalty, with Quantcast recording 143,000 visitors per day.
When Google initially banished Rap Genius to the back pages of the search engine, it seemed as though the site would never be able to survive, as Google never mentioned that it would only temporary punish the site.
As sites struggle to attain new visitors, SEO spam is one way that webmasters attempt to rank higher in Google. In Rap Genius’s case, it was sending out emails to bloggers telling them that they would help to increase their blog traffic if they made a post and linked to some of Rap Genius’s lyric pages.
Google considers sites with a significant amount of incoming links to be reputable, which normally allows them to rank higher, making SEO spam a way for Rap Genius to grow its traffic.
Rap Genius, which has been around for four years, seems to have grown faster than other lyric sites at least in part because of these SEO spam tactics, which makes it even more surprising that Google is allowing things to return to normal.
Summary: Google has allowed Rap Genius to return to the top of search results after banishing the site to the back pages of results when it was discovered that Rap Genius had used SEO spam to rank higher.
Image Credit: 1701records