Last month, we reported that Google may have just killed a whole category of websites - lyrics sites. New data shows that search visibility for some of these sites has indeed drastically declined. While it's interesting enough for this particular niche, it also highlights how Google is capable of basically wiping out an entire niche by adding one type of direct answer to its search results. That, of course, is something it's doing more and more of as time goes on, and it's bound to hurt third-party websites as it does.
Are you worried that Google is squeezing out too many third-party websites in favor of its own content? Let us know in the comments.
While Google doesn't display lyrics in search results for every song, or even for every type of lyric query, it does so for many basic queries. Last month, we used "goodbye horses lyrics" as an example. Search for that, and Google displays the following:
eLyrics.net saw a 92% drop. LyricsMode and Sing365 each fell 60%. LyricsFreak dropped 59%. MetroLyrics dropped 12%. Last.fm, which links to MetroLyrics for song lyrics saw a decline of 18%.
Take a look at the full list:
|Domain||Loss in %||Category|
RapGenius saw a decline of negative 17%, though there's a little more to that story. As SearchMetrics notes, it now redirects to Genius, so that can account for a drop in visibility on that domain.
At the tail end of 2013, Rap Genius was penalized by Google, but the penalty was quickly lifted early last year. The company has since expanded its business model into annotations of content beyond lyrics. In fact, they've already been in the news this week with ambitions of annotating the web.
SearchMetrics shows the visibility picture for RapGenius.com and Genius.com with the re-direct occurring in mid-July.
Another thing worth noting is that one lyrics site actually appears on the winners list this time. AZLyrics managed to post a gain of 24% Perhaps this is a result of declines from competitors.
Bing shows lyrics on its search results pages too, but doesn't appear to do so for all the same songs Google does.
Are the search engines going too far with the amount of information they're showing directly on results pages? Let us know what you think.
Images via Google, SearchMetrics