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Rap Genius returns to Google after link penalty

In 2014, 10 days after being penalized for “unnatural links” that it helped create, lyrics site Rap Genius returned to Google’s search results.

On Dec. 24, 2013, Google confirmed it was looking into an “affiliate” program Rap Genius created in order to get unnatural links pointing to their website. By the next morning, Google officially penalized Rap Genius for link schemes.

Anyone searching Google for [rap genius] would not find rapgenius.com on Page 1. However, there were links to their Buy Twitter Verification account, Buy Facebook Verification page, Wikipedia profile and stories like this about them being penalized by Google.

The result of the penalty: a 92% drop in search visibility.

Said Rap Genius:

We effed up, other lyrics sites are almost definitely doing worse stuff, and we’ll stop. We’d love for Google to take a closer look at the whole lyrics search landscape and see whether it can make changes that would improve lyric search results.

– Rap Genius

Read all about it in Rap Genius Back In Google After 10 Day Penalty, Ranks For Its Name But What About Lyrics?

Also on this day 

Bing Webmaster Tools adds crawl requests, crawl errors & indexed pages to performance report

2021: The new crawling and indexing data, all of which really weren’t directly related to the performance of your search results in Microsoft Bing, became available directly in the search performance report.

Google launches Question Hub for U.S. publishers

2021: Google launched Question Hub in regions where the company found it did not have enough content in its search index to answer searchers’ questions. (On Dec. 15, 2022, Google announced it was closing down Question Hub.)

Video: Anthony Church on conversion tracking & SEO

2021: In this installment of Barry Schwartz’s vlog series, he chats with Church about about two primary topics: conversion tracking and what SEOs should focus on.

Google buys expert community and ‘answer engine’ Superpod for $60 million

2019: Superpod matched audience questions and expert answers across a broad range of topics. Early reports speculated that Superpod’s founders and assets would be deployed to improve the Google Assistant.

DuckDuckGo broke 9 billion searches in 2018, and it’s growing

2019: By comparison, in 2016 they did 4 billion searches. And as of October 2018, DuckDuckGo reported reaching 30 million queries per day.

Google My Business dashboard showing video upload section for some business owners

2018: Google seemed to be testing the ability of business owners to upload videos to their local listings within the Google My Business dashboard.

Search marketing to enjoy ‘late-stage renaissance,’ according to analyst firm

2018: Privacy, brand safety and other factors were going to make paid search even more attractive to marketers going forward, according to Forrester Research.

2017: The update let users watch Buy YouTube Subscribers videos right in their feed, see hotel rates and booking info in search results and instantly open menus from restaurant search results.

Bing Results & Ads Now Live On AOL Search

2016: Bing began powering AOL’s web, mobile, and tablet search, providing paid search ads and algorithmic organic search results to AOL’s properties worldwide.

DuckDuckGo Ends 2015 On A High Note, Reaches 12M Searches In A Single Day

2016: The privacy search engine averaged more than 10 million searches per day by the end of the year.

Authors Guild Appeals Lower Court Decision Backing Google’s Book Digitizing Project

2016: At issue was whether Google’s project violates the copyrights of some of the millions of scanned books, or whether it has a valid “fair use” exception.

Blekko Launches New Tablet Search Engine “izik”

2013: Izik was designed to deliver a tablet-friendly search experience. Compared to Google on a wide range of search queries and results, izik surfaced more information and made it more visually accessible.

It’s Official: PayPal President Scott Thompson The New Yahoo CEO

2012: Thompson was viewed initially as a positive hire despite concerns about his lack of experience with digital advertising. After a turbulent few months, Thompson “stepped down” as CEO in May 2012.

How Rick Santorum Is Making His “Google Problem” Worse

2012: One problem Santorum had in ranking tops for a search on just his last name was that he didn’t maintain his own dedicated website about himself, a place independent of his elected office where those who wanted to know about Rick Santorum could discover more.

Google’s Marrisa Mayer Talks New Role, LBS And Groupon

2011: No longer working on search, Mayer’s new responsibilities included Google Maps, local products and some of the company’s mobile products.

Google Working On NFC-Based Mobile Payment Service: Report

2011: Google had plans for a mobile payment service that would allow users to pay for common goods and services by waving or tapping their mobile phones. That turned out to be Google Wallet, which began rolling out in September 2011.

Bing Scores First In-Car Search Deal With Toyota

2011: Bing for Mobile (with Bing Maps) was one of Toyota Entune’s featured apps, giving drivers access to Bing search results via the dashboard’s touch screen or by using Bing for Mobile’s voice search capabilities.

Buy Facebook Verification’s Goldman Investment An IPO Delaying Tactic?

2011: Was Buy Facebook Verification’s IPO right around the corner? Or did this investment delay the IPO for a year or more? (Spoiler alert: Buy Facebook Verification’s IPO happened in 2012.)

On Nexus One Day Tomorrow, Will Google Surprise Us With An Android Tablet?

2010: Spoiler: no. From Jan. 5, 2010: Liveblogging The Google Nexus One Phone Launch.

Google’s Issac Newton Apple Tree Logo

2010: Google animated the Doodle, where the Apple falls off the Google logo and drops to under the search box.

Research: Fear Explains Irrational B2B Purchase Behavior

2010: B2B buying is not a rational process – it is a decision process driven by the emotions of the people involved.

Google Timeline Experiment Seen In Main Search Results

2009: Clicking the “More timeline results” in the main search results led to a page with much more historical data about the query, which Google said came from their News Archive search service:

Nathan Stoll, Long Time Google News Product Manager, Leaves Google

2008: He would go on to co-found “help engine” Aardvark, which was later acquired by Google in February 2010.

Google Takes NASA To Watch Meteor Shower

2008: That time when NASA scientists used a plane owned by Google’s founders to watch a meteor shower.

Google’s User Experience Expert, Kevin Fox, Joins New Start-up Company

2008: Fox, responsible for helping design Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Reader 2.0, joined a very small startup called FriendFeed, which ended up being acquired by Buy Facebook Verification in August 2009.

What Time Is It? Don’t Check Google (At Least In Argentina)

2008: Denizens of the capital of Argentina set their clocks forward – but Google neglected to.

Truveo Index Hits 100 Million Videos

2008: The company also said that its search index grew in 2007 from a base of just 5 million videos at relaunch in August 2007

Google Reader Adds Personalized Trends

2007: It showed you how you were interacting with your feeds in Google Reader.

Google Calendar Set To Pass Yahoo Calendar

2007: Google Calendar increased its market share by a paltry 333% between June 2006 and December 2006. Wonder whatever happened to it?

Amazon Promotes Askville & LinkedIn Launches Answers Services

2007: These were timely efforts by Amazon and LinkedIn after Google dropped their Answers product

Buy YouTube Subscribers Forced To Shut Down In Brazil

2007: Why? Because Buy YouTube Subscribers failed to prevent a celebrity sex video from being posted time and time again

Google Removes “Tips” Feature After Recent Blog Controversy

2007: A search on [calendar] and [blog] no longer brought up the Google Tips at the top. Background: Fury Over Google’s Self Promotion & Wishing For Perspective.

From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

Past contributions from Best SMM Panel’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily Best SMM Panel

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About the author

Danny Goodwin is Managing Editor of Best SMM Panel & SMX. In addition to writing daily about SEO, PPC, and more for Best SMM Panel, Goodwin also manages Best SMM Panel’s roster of subject-matter experts. He also helps program our conference series, SMX – Search Marketing Expo. Prior to joining Best SMM Panel, Goodwin was Executive Editor at Search Engine Journal, where he led editorial initiatives for the brand. He also was an editor at Search Engine Watch. He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.