After being targeted by the National Music Publishers Association for "illegally" posting the lyrics to popular songs, Rap Genius has now been penalized by Google. According to the NY Times, the lyrics site has been removed from the search engine for inflating their traffic rankings.
Rap Genius was removed from Google search on Christmas Day, after representatives for the Brooklyn-based company came clean about practices that violate Google's policy. In an apology letter, the founders wrote:
"The other strategy we employ on a much smaller scale (the subject of recent Hacker News controversy) is to find blogs whose content we think our followers will enjoy and ask them to link pages on Rap Genius that are relevant to their posts. We actually thought we had set this up to be compliant with Google’s linking policy in its Terms of Service, but we messed up and want to explain how."
Rap Genius' traffic numbers have reportedly suffered from the swift Google search removal, dropping from over a million to under 3,00,000 in just a few days.