Rap Genius Banished From Google Search Results Over SEO Practices

Google appears to have cracked down hard on a rap lyrics website that was allegedly trying to game its search algorithm.

RapGenius.com disappeared from top Google search results on Wednesday, TechCrunch first reported. As of Thursday afternoon, a Google search for “rap genius” didn’t bring up a link to rapgenius.com until the sixth page of results.

rap genius

Founded in 2009 by three Yale graduates, Rap Genius bills itself as a “hip hop Wikipedia,” a compendium of song lyrics annotated with notes on their meanings. The site made headlines last year when it landed $15 million in funding.

The website seems to have incurred Google’s wrath after blogger John Marbach published an email from Rap Genius encouraging affiliate writers to throw links about Justin Bieber into any random post in order to get more traffic.

Google’s webmaster guidelines note that “any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation.”

The Rap Genius founders responded with an open letter apologizing to Google for their SEO practices, and arguing that other lyrics sites are guilty of similar violations.

TechCrunch reported that the two companies are working toward a resolution. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a different vein, Rap Genius has caught flack in the past for “translating” hip-hop lyrics in a racially insensitive way. As Gawker wrote last year:

Another big issue with Rap Genius is that it trades on a particular noxious brand of humor that has infected the internet for years: white people “translating” rap lyrics in arch, academic prose … The presumption — one that partly fuels Rap Genius, if even inadvertently — is that rappers are too dumb to use “correct” English. A very early instance of the joke was a chain e-mail from the 1990s that offered a dry translation of Biggie’s “One More Chance (remix)” under the guise of a competition in an Oakland school district that asked students to “translate ebonics.”

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Let It Snow

    When you type “let it snow” into the search bar, Google sends a shower of snowflakes down your screen. But watch out! It gets frosty fast. If that happens, just use your cursor like an ice scraper or click “defrost.” It’s a good way to prepare for those frosty mornings in the car.

  • Do A Barrel Roll

    Wanna feel like you’re flying a fighter jet while you look for things on the internet? Type a href=”https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=xx-piglatin#hl=xx-piglatinsource=hpq=do+a+barrel+rollbtnG=Google+Earchsaygbv=2bav=cf.osbfp=d9b1dc2a24b11a17biw=1280bih=615″ target=”_hplink””do a barrel roll”/a into the Google search bar and watch the whole page roll over.

  • Zerg Rush

    If you query Google for “Zerg Rush,” you’ll unlock a playable “Starcraft” homage that unleashes dozens of letter Os on the page. You can earn some points by clicking on the letters and stopping them in their tracks, but eventually they’ll overwhelm and devour your search results. You can’t win no matter how speedy your point-and-click skills.

  • What Is The Loneliest Number?

    You shouldn’t be afraid to ask Google the hard questions. Query a href=”https://www.google.com/#pq=askewhl=ensugexp=kjrmccp=28gs_id=42xhr=tq=what+is+the+loneliest+numbertok=D9RnikF6EoRNko2269EJ5Qpf=psclient=psy-absource=hppbx=1oq=what+is+the+loneliest+numberaq=0aqi=g1aql=fgs_sm=gs_upl=bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osbfp=54eccb786198c044biw=1280bih=615″ target=”_hplink””What is the loneliest number”/a and Google’s calculator will tell you that it is “1”. The calculator returns the same answer when you query “the answer to life, the universe, and everything,” as well as “the number of horns on a unicorn.”

    Image via a href=”www.google.com” target=”_hplink”Google/a

  • Askew

    Get Google a little tipsy when you searcha href=”https://www.google.com/#sclient=psy-abhl=ensource=hpq=askewpbx=1oq=askewaq=faqi=g-z2g2aql=1gs_sm=egs_upl=15450l16004l1l16189l5l4l0l0l0l0l171l599l1.3l4l0bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osbfp=54eccb786198c044biw=1280bih=615″ target=”_hplink” “askew”./a
    Image via a href=”www.google.com” target=”_hplink”Google/a

  • Google Gravity

    Tired of Google being so weightless all the time? Bring it down to Earth by entering “Google gravity” and clicking “I’m Feeling Lucky”. Once the search bar, buttons and logo have collapsed into a heap at the bottom of the page, you can toss them around the page by clicking, dragging and releasing them.

  • Recursion

    You know when you’re in a bathroom with lots of mirrors and you look into one and see your reflection a href=”http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3043/2683236467_d9bce06ae5.jpg” target=”_hplink”repeated into infinity?/a That’s called recursion. a href=”http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recursive” target=”_hplink”According to Merriam-Webster,/a the word means “a procedure that can repeat itself indefinitely.” If you a href=”http://www.nochucknorris.com/” target=”_hplink”Google with the word “recursion,”/a Google will suggest the following at the top of its list of search results: “Did you mean: recursion.” If you click Google’s suggestion, a new page will load, but “Did you mean: recursion” will remain at the at the top of the results list. (With the time and inclination, you could go on and on like this forever.)

  • Where Is Chuck Norris?

    Google saves you from a roundhouse kick to the face by coming up empty when you attempt an “I’m Feeling Lucky” search for a href=”http://www.nochucknorris.com/” target=”_hplink””Where is Chuck Norris?”/a Instead users are a href=”http://www.nochucknorris.com/” target=”_hplink”taken to www.NoChuckNorris.com/a, which displays text that reads, “Google won’t search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don’t find Chuck Norris, he finds you.” The page also gives users an option to search “pages from Chuck’s Beard.”

  • Once In A Blue Moon

    The Google Calculator also returns more complicated answers. Query “baker’s dozen” and the calculator returns “13.” Searching “once in a blue moon” yields a comically small number (seen above).

  • Google Pig Latin

    Otay eesay Oogle’sgay omepagehay anslatedtray intoway Igpay Atinlay, ypetay a href=”https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=xx-piglatin” target=”_hplink””ooglegay igpay atinlay”/a intoway Ooglegay andway ithay “I’mway Eelingfay Uckylay”.

    You can also customize your Google search to a href=”http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en” target=”_hplink”display text in a number of languages/a, such French, German and Japanese, as well as Latin, Pirate and Klingon.

  • BONUS: Play ‘Snake’ In YouTube Videos

    If you’re watching a dull video on YouTube.com, you can press the Up+Left arrows simultaneously to enjoys a game of “Snake” over the video. a href=”http://thenextweb.com/apps/2010/07/24/did-you-know-you-can-play-snake-on-youtube-while-watching-videos-hold-left/” target=”_hplink”According to The Next Web/a, this trick doesn’t work for videos with “annotations or ads. It’s limited to the videos played on YouTube’s site and it doesn’t work for embedded videos.” Check out the video (above) to see how it’s done.


Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/26/rap-genius-google_n_4505663.html

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