Before Christmas, Rap Genius was outed for link schemes and then on Christmas, Google penalized the site for those link schemes. The penalty is still on and a couple metrics sites show huge drops in traffic for the site, some as much as losing 90% of their traffic since the penalty.
Marcus from Search Metrics published the impact this Google penalty had on their search visibility in Google. Marcus noted that there was a 92% drop in search visibility according to their metrics.
Search Metrics tracked hundreds of keywords that were impacted by this penalty, not just their home page but their “whole domain.” The penalties resulted in their keyword rankings dropped off the first page and back to page four, five or worse. Marcus feels that Google “devalued the site’s incoming links and additionally gave them a keyword penalty for the anchor texts of the incoming links.”
Here are charts from Search Metrics and Quantcast, showing the drop:
Here are some of the keywords that took a hit, but there were plenty of others:
The impact, as you can see, was serious and many links were downgraded and the site’s reputation was harmed.
Christoph Cemper from Link Research Tools did a deep analysis of the links that appeared to be negatively impacting the site. The research showed that the site had an unusual level of deep links and unnatural links. But as you know, Rap Genius was benefiting from these links until someone outed them and Google manually applied a penalty.
It seems, at least for Rap Genius, that the Penguin algorithm had little to no impact on these link schemes deployed by the site.
For more on this story, see:
- Google Is Looking Into Rap Genius Linking Scheme Masked As Affiliate Program
- Google Has Officially Penalized Rap Genius For Link Schemes