December 31, 2013 11:10 AM Subscribe
posted by Going To Maine (99 comments total)
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Rap Genius is a lyrics site that allows its users to annotate lyrics with additional data and criticism. The site has become a touchstone in the hip-hop community: various prominent rappers
have signed up for accounts to explain their own lyrics, it's been profiled
in the NYT, and has raised $15 million in venture capital from Andreessen Horowitz
. The founders have talked
about expanding the site's annotations to other topics. Then came last Sunday, and the SEO.
On December 22, Rap Genius asked users to add links back to the site to their posts in exchange for traffic.
On December 24, Google removed RapGenius from search results.
Site traffic promptly collapsed. The founders have posted a mea culpa
, stating that "we effed up, other lyrics sites are almost definitely doing worse stuff, and we’ll stop." Tim Lee at the Washington Post has catalogued
some additional bad behavior by the RapGenius founders, and at SearchEnglineLand Barry Schwartz considera
the causes of RapGenius's ban, the site's naivete, and whether Google wants to eventually get into the lyrics business.