Manipulating Google for higher search rankings may result in punishing trial that ruins business initiatives to augment web presence. Google has specified linking schemes for search engine optimization and failing to follow may result in poor results, but bluffing link building techniques may backfire. This is exactly what happened with RapGenius. RapGenius, a song lyric startup (2009), popularly known for their foul mouth and weird behavior, tried gaming Google by attempting to unnaturally boost search engine rankings.
Initially the website managed to deceive Google, but soon it was slammed for practicing dirty tricks. It has been severely penalized, and the aftermaths are threatening.
What exactly happened?
Like other companies, RapGenius wanted to rank higher on search engines by link building. To this extent it was fine. However, employing unethical practices to deceive the search algorithms created an outright disgust. RapGenius was caught offering bloggers exposure via its social media accounts if they linked the lyrics sites on their blogs. It was realized that RapGenius provided a list of links for blogs in return to social media mention.
This implied that irrelevant blogs and articles embedded the links at the end of their articles. As a result, RapGenius got links to its pages for popular tracks on personal blogs, which effectively raised its profile. This uncanny practice clearly violated Google’s linking policy.
Here’s the aftermath
Google severely responded to what was an attempt to monopolize page ranks. The search engine giant realized of the foul play when the Rap Genius invited bloggers to join the affiliate program on its Facebook page. A web entrepreneur, John Marbach managed to contact the lyrics site and the representative replied, ‘If you have any dope post that you would like us to tweet out – get massive traffic – put the HTML code.’ This caught the eyes of Google’s team. Currently, the lyrics site is biting the dust, and it is rapidly vanishing from the search results.
On Tuesday, song-lyric site attracted more than 650,000 visitors, but on Wednesday the traffic fell by nearly two-thirds, to less than 225,000 visitors. Google was quick to respond to RapGenius’s manipulative approach and altered the way it would show up on search results. On Wednesday, Google assured that RapGenius does not appear on at least top six pages of results.
Foul play for Google means
Google manages millions of websites. For Google, buying or selling links, exchanging products, large-scale article marketing and use of automated program creating links that influences search results is a clear violation of Google’s webmaster technique. The search engine giant considers this as a serious offence and assures that the website vanishes from SERPS, and this is exactly what is happening with RapGenius.com. Though, the company openly confessed their dirty tricks, but Google has already removed the website from popular search results.
This is not the first instance where Google confronted an unnatural link building practice. In the past, the search engine giant penalized sites like Overstock, JCPenny.com, Backlinks, BuildMyRank.com and Ghost Rank, but RapGenius is a popular example. Google’s impact on the website will have a lasting impression and would result in decreased visibility that would stick for a long time.