Google Just Destroyed Rap Genius

12.26.13 Andy Cush

Rap Genius: Love it or (perhaps more likely) hate it, you probably won’t be seeing much of it any time soon. In response to the text-annotation site’s super-spammy SEO boosting practices, revealed in a blog post by John Marbach this week, Google has tanked its search rankings. Search for “rap genius” and RapGenius.com doesn’t show up until the seventh page.

This would be bad for any site, but for Rap Genius, whose very business model depends on good SEO, it could be devastating. It used to be that Googling any lyric to just about any rap song would net a Rap Genius link as the first result, driving hordes of kids looking to identify that track they heard on the radio to the site. Now, searching for a Jay-Z lyric that’s inexplicably been kicking around my head all week, I don’t see the geniuses til at least ten pages in. The site may as well not exist at all.

Rap Genius’s founders have apologized for their misdeeds, naturally, in an annotated post on Rap Genius.