Another bad look for RapGenius as they're exposed for spammy SEO techniques triggering an investigation by Google leading to Google search penalties. Despite their "wild and crazy" hip hop persona, their initial response to Google was to snitch on other lyrics sites and beg forgiveness. This disaster follows last month's news that Rap Genius was not licensing all of its lyrics and almost got taken down for piracy.
From ben's blog:
Wait ’til I get my money right
Then you can’t tell me nothing, right?
—Kanye West, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”
Despite a $15 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz, Rap Genius apparently hasn't gotten their money right because they're still getting told what to do.
On Monday John Marbach exposed Rap Genius's offer of Twitter links for any blogger posting specified links to their blog. In the case of John Marbach, he was offered "MASSIVE traffic" and the chance to "bloooowwwww up!" for posting links with Justin Bieber song titles and the word "lyrics" as anchor text.
Note that this is the sort of scheme SEO experts have been warning about this year and I began discussing at Hypebot back in July. I guess they were sleeping!
Recognizing that "stop snitchin" only plays in the streets, the wild boys of the web immediately capitulated. As their executive summary stated:
"We effed up, other lyrics sites are almost definitely doing worse stuff, and we’ll stop."
They even have a handy chart of competitors that also do bad things.
Note: Apparently they're no longer spamming Google but are now focused on one-on-one Twitter spam.
- Google's Changing SEO Policies and How To Optimize Your Music Site
- Andreessen Horowitz Invests $15 Million In Rap Genius To "Create The Internet Talmud"
- Music Publishers Association Pauses Takedown Action Against Rap Genius
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is building a writing hub at Flux Research. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.