The hip-hop lyrics website Rap Genius got Google’s forgiveness and is now back in the top research results again, but this did not come without a tremendous effort.
December, 2013, MXDWN reported that the “hip-hop Wikipedia”, music lyrics website Rap Genius was removed from Google’s top research results after manipulative SEO strategies. Since then Rap Genius had been trying ever means they can to get back. According to Pitchfork, the disaster is over and Rap Genius is back again.
Google considers the numbers of page links to a single website a crucial factor of its ranking. However, according to Pitchfork and Los Angeles Times, Rap Genius “was offering bloggers exposure through its social media accounts in exchange for links to its website on their music blogs.” Google decided to take action and remove Rap Genius from its top search results.
Rap Genius soon realized they’ve crossed the line and made a big mistake. In the following days, they tried everything to get Google’s forgiveness.
Google’s manual action hadAnnotate the reason “Unnatural links to your site”, which they explain as “a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative links pointing to your site.” Google recommends a 4-step approach to fixing the problem:
1. Download a list of links to your site from Webmaster Tools.
2. Check this list for any links that violate our guidelines on linking.
3. For any links that violate our guidelines, contact the webmaster of that site and ask that they either remove the links or prevent them from passing PageRank, such as by adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute.
4. Use the Disavow links tool in Webmaster Tools to disavow any links you were unable to get removed.
So that morning we dug in.
They demonstrate in their letter how they remove inbound links on their pages, and apologized:
To Google and our fans: we’re sorry for being such morons. We regret our foray into irrelevant unnatural linking. We’re focused on building the best site in the world for understanding lyrics, poetry, and prose and watching it naturally rise to the top of the search results.