Google has punished Rap Genius, a provocative music lyrics website after establishing that it was trying to game search engine rankings.
Rap Genius, a website dedicated to providing detailed annotations for hip-hop songs, received Google penalty after it acknowledged that it went against the Google’s rules for optimizing search results.
Reports started to come 0ut on Thursday that Rap Genius was removed from top search engine rankings in Google Search. The website did not come up in the top search results for either a rap lyric search or even by the name of the company itself.
Rap Genius sent out an open letter of apology earlier in the week where it admitted that it had tried to improve its search engine rankings by offering exposure to bloggers on its Twitter account in return for links back to the website. These quid pro links are considered against the rules by Google.
Rap Genius was a popular website prior to this and received a $15 million funding from Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm. A Google penalty can severely affect a website because Google controls a huge percentage of internet traffic.