Early last week, Google penalised the website Rap Genius for partaking in an ‘affiliate programme’ that used link scheming to manipulate their Google search rankings.
The main website was removed from the top Google search results and their traffic suffered massive losses.
Traffic dropped from 700,000 unique visits per day to around 100,000. That ban has now been lifted and Rap Genius has returned to Google’s rankings. However, there still remains a sizeable loss in their overall traffic. Before the penalty, Rap Genius received around 800,000 views a day; since the penalty was lifted, they are still only at around 400,000 hits a day.
It is currently unclear if this is due to the site still being penalised. It is possible that the site has lost traffic through reduced visibility on popular song lyric queries since their very public mistake.
In their apology, Rap Genius attempted to direct Google to some of their competitors, claiming that they too were undertaking bad SEO practices. None of these competitors have been penalised to date.