Rap Genius Traffic Has Been Destroyed

Traffic to Rap Genius remains low after it was nuked by Google.

(Some thoughts on this below the chart…)

1. It’s pretty crazy that Google can just do this to a company. How is this legal? Google is so essential to so many companies, and yet it’s virtually unregulated and can do what it wants to decimate a company. Rap Genius had better been committing some seriously shady SEO tricks to get this sort of a punishment. Otherwise, this seems unfair.

2. This has to scare the crap out of Andreessen Horowitz which invested $US15 million in Rap Genius. It’s not just that Google has nuked Rap Genius. Its Google rank will come back in time if it’s on good behaviour. It’s the fact that Google can flip a switch and destroy Rap Genius. As Danny Sullivan noted when the Rap Genius mess kicked up, “it’s probably an incredibly dumb business model to be doing a lyrics site that hopes for Google traffic in a time when Google, like Bing, is moving toward providing direct answers. Lyrics, to my understanding, often have to be licensed. That makes them a candidate for Google to licence directly and provide as direct answers.”

3. The Rap Genius guys like to use foul language, so let’s put this in terms they’ll understand: They need to be their own b**ch. This comes form Fred Wilson talking about leaning on Facebook and Google for traffic: “SEO and Facebook timeline integration is ‘best practice’ on the Internet. You should do both. They can be great free acquisition channels. But they are not great retention channels. Because easy come easy go. Be your own b**ch.” In other words, don’t rely on someone else’s platform, build your own.

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