Rap Genius, the lyrics annotation website, has appeared back on the front page of Google more than a week after the search giant penalized the company.
Google discovered that Rap Genius was artificially pushing up its page ranking and it pushed the company down several pages whenever one searches for lyrics or even the name of the website.
Until Saturday–when Google searches for “Rap Genius” again started to yield results for the website itself–page results would show the company’s social media accounts and Wikipedia page.
As a result of the penalization, the site’s traffic dropped a significant amount.
According to data published by traffic monitoring site Quantcast.com, Rap Genius’s traffic dropped from about 1.3 million unique visitors on Dec. 23–right before Google dropped it–to about 200,000 unique visitors on Monday, Dec. 29.
Google first heard about the website’s linking procedure via a blogger, John Marbach, who contacted the website to see how it got so much traffic. “If you have a dope post that you would like us to tweet out – get you MASSIVE traffic – then put this html [code] at the bottom of the post. . . . I will send that [link] out it will bloooowwwww up!” a representative told him, according to Rolling Stone.
And after Google penalized Rap Genius, the owners sent the search engine giant a coarsely worded letter saying “we effed up.”
“We effed up, other lyrics sites are almost definitely doing worse stuff, and we’ll stop. We’d love for Google to take a closer look at the whole lyrics search landscape and see whether it can make changes that would improve lyric search results,” it reads.
The letter continues in saying that it “messed up” because “in some instances we have fallen short in terms of making sure that the links people post are natural.”