Have you heard the latest spam network? If not, Google just chalked up another bad guy gang over at Rap Genius. In fact, they’ve been removed from the search index completely.
Honestly, I was out of the loop who they were until this morning. I was reading an SEO blog news site and caught the headline. They’re a thriving (or were) a trendy music lyrics site. I’ve had a few clients in this niche. But Rap Genius was caught engaging in deceptive techniques to nab top rankings.
Their business model was pretty popular. Users could find and get music lyrics from the powerhouse from millions of artists. However, they pulled a fast one after a massive $15k million investment from Andreesen Horowitch in 2012 to syndicate content.
How did it go down? Same old thing. They were offering site visitors and bloggers access to a huge link scheme to their social networks. Only, it was a trade for links directed back to Rap Genius. That’s a big, fat no, no if you read Googles guidelines.
Remember, if you engage site owners to exchange links for free advertising it’s now considered spam linking. I know right? Seems so innocent. The process worked for more than a decade. However, since Penguin was launched in April 2011, such activity is now considered sleezy by Google.
So how does this news impact your site rankings? For starters, it will crush them if you develop any link exchange relationships. It could be with Mom and Pop sites or the big boys. Don’t even think about it. Doing so will probably get your site sandboxed meaning you won’t exist in search.