RapGenius, a popular lyrical website that recently earned $15 million in venture fund capital is now firmly in the sights of Google’s webspam team. Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team says his company is investigating RapGenius for attempting to improve its position on search result pages by scamming links. RapGenius, a business highly dependent on search engine traffic could suffer severely if Google decides to take permanent action against the site.
In summary, RapGenius has been soliciting “blog affiliates,” a program that promises “rewards” for everyone involved. If a blogger added links to Justin Bieber’s lyrics on RapGenius on their own page, RapGenius would tweet links to the blog. It’s all very simple but very much against Google’s rules. By asking for artificial links into blog posts, RapGenius is looking to manipulate the way Google’s search engine algorithm works. Part of that search algorithm is dependent on how many linkbacks a website receives from other sites. The more linkbacks you receive, the more the PageRank algorithm will place you at the top of the search results.
RapGenius admitted that their programs were “stupid in retrospect — gonna stop” but also asked Google to look at alternative lyric sites and their own SEO tactics.
For now, any search of “RapGenius” on Google yields results to their Twitter page, articles regarding the SEO spam and their Wikipedia page. Any links to their actual business of lyrics are nowhere to be found. Let the lesson be learned, when you mess with the bull…you get the horns.