When the news that Rap Genius had escaped Google’s wrath and was back in the search results surfaced over the weekend, I wasn’t surprised. Endless bags of VC cash and the right connections can more or less buy your way to the top of Google’s results. We’ve seen sites like JC Penney or BMW get slapped by Google for unnatural link building before, only to return to the SERPs as strong as ever.
Aaron Wall had a great piece this weekend on how spamming big can net you a big return. Rap Genius has never been more talked or earned more authortative links than they have in the past 2 weeks.
Just out of curiousity, I wanted to see how ‘back’ RapGenius.com was in the SERPs. I ran a check of their search rankings in Google for the list of keywords in the email they sent that was outed several weeks ago. While the rest of the site was ranking again in Google, surely the exact keywords that they so blatantly targeted wouldn’t be at the top right?
Here’s the original email with the list of targeted terms that Rap Genius blasted out to bloggers:
Here’s their current rankings in Google.com:
With a few sitting nicely at number 1 and a host of other keywords on page 1, it’s safe to say that big brand spam is worth every penny. I’ve worked with sites that have done far less in terms of aggressive link tactics and Google won’t even send them a sample of unnatural links. I’ve worked with sites that have had to shut down because of Penguin and Panda updates. People have lost jobs.
But if you know the right people and hire the right PR firm, spamming Google is probably the smartest decision you’ll ever make.