Now I don’t mean to say that Google is resting on it’s globally huge laurels, I merely intend to inform you that Google is continuing it’s harsh critique of bad link building practices.
Rap Genius is a website dedicated to creating a large library of rap lyrics that are highly searchable. For example if you heard a lyric and couldn’t remember the song, you could type it into Google’s search engine where Rap Genius is trying to rank.
The success of the website eventually led to the website landing a #1 spot on Google for the phrase “rap lyrics”, a choice phrase.
Unfortunately for Rap Genius, they recently started an ill-fated link building campaign that led to the removal of their entire site from the Google Listings. Even when you searched “Rap Genius” word for word, the website didn’t show up.
The reason being, Rap Genius were offering to tweet links to their near 140k followers, from websites that linked to Rap Genius. Punters accepted this challenge and soon the links were flowing between websites, and that is where the major problem occurred.
Much in the same way that Interflora were penalised for offering “gifts” to bloggers who would blog about them, Google saw this as a way of purchasing links, even though there was no actual money exchanged, the “gift” or the tweet was sufficient reward to encourage people to link to their sites.
Just like Interflora though, Rap Genius has now recovered from this blip in their link building campaign. Not only have they recovered, but they recovered in style and in just 10 days. They have also been restored to the #1 position on Google for Rap Lyrics.
Unfortunately, having to removed so many links does seem to have affected their overall rankings with not as many first page listings as before. This should also remedy itself with time.
Blog Post by: Greg McVey