The Stupid Way Rap Genius Got Burned by Google
If you try to game Google, you're bound to get burned. Such is the case with Rap Genius, a site that hosts and explains lyrics to songs and copy from other texts.
In an attempt to rank higher in Google search, the site solicited bloggers to link to Rap Genius pages in exchange for exposure via Rap Genius' social media channels. While Google generally views backlinks from reputable sites as a positive ranking factor, paying for backlinks is commonly considered an unacceptable SEO strategy.
Rap ineptitude, one might say.
Even though the site has issued an apology, Google's actions were swift: it removed the Rap Genius website from all Google searches. Traffic to the Rap Genius site has plummeted from about 700,000 uniques a day to less than 200,000, according to Quantcast.
While getting notified by Google that your website is in violation of its quality guidelines can be a frightening thing for many business owners, you can repair damage any damage that has been done.
Jason Fell is director of native content for Entrepreneur, managing the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners. He previously served as Entrepreneur.com's managing editor and as the technology editor prior to that.