Rap Genius Comes Under Fire For SEO Practices

Hip-hop reference tool Rap Genius has come under fire over the past week as reports of their using shady SEO practices to drive traffic to the site has come to light. A host of media outlets reported on the issue, with Google giving a nod to being aware of what the site that recently rolled out “Rap Stats” is up to. Today, Google flexed and punished the New York-based Rap Genius by removing the site from the top of any of its search results pages and a search for the website only returns third-party sites talking about RG.

According to the L.A. Times, “Google took down Rap Genius after it was revealed that the lyrics website, which received $15 million in funding from Andreesson Horowitz last year, was offering bloggers exposure through its social media accounts in exchange for links to its website on their music blogs.” Apparently, the site was trading unique views for access to its social media numbers-a fact that was revealed by Tech entrepreneur John Marbach who posted his findings here.

We’ll see what effect this has on Rap Genius, which should bounce back quickly with that nice nest egg. More interestingly, it brings up an issue we could be facing moving forward in the Internet age of blogs and websites. Google made a statement, both in what practices are acceptable and how much clout they truly yield in the overall cyber universe. A check of other search engines shows that Google is alone in the ousting, but it is notable nevertheless. We’ll keep an eye on this story as it develops, but it looks like RG is going to miss out on a lot of Beliebers looking up Journals lyrics in their new Christmas snuggies. Oh, well.

[via LA Times]

Jake Krzeczowski

Jake Krzeczowski is a writer based in Chicago. Since graduating from the University of Iowa in 2012 he has written for the likes of The Chicago Sun Times, Complex Magazine, and Elevator Magazine.

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