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This day in search marketing history: January 4

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 on Page 1. However, there were links to their Twitter account, Facebook 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.)

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