As you may have heard, lyrics site Rap Genius was hit with a big Google penalty around Christmas time for unnatural linking practices.
The site was telling people they could be a “blog affiliate” and get “MASSIVE traffic” when they posted Rap Genius links to Justin Bieber lyrics on their sites in exchange for tweets to the posts.
Obviously, you can’t do that. Not for PageRank passing links anyway, if you want to remain in Google’s good graces.
Google caught wind, and took action.
@mmasnick @RapGenius we're aware and looking into it.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) December 24, 2013
Rap Genius remained out of Google rankings for about ten days, but it’s now back. Apparently Google views the site in a positive enough manner (in terms of quality) that the penalty has been lifted, with Rap Genius having cleaned up its act.
“First of all, we owe a big thanks to Google for being fair and transparent and allowing us back onto their results pages,” the Rap Genius founders said in a blog post. “We overstepped, and we deserved to get smacked.”
Rap Genius offers a history of its link-building practices here.
Image: Rap Genius