In a very long mea culpa, chock full of technical details, Rap Genius said it was sorry for gaming — oops, growth hacking — the Google search system, techniques that brought down the wrath of Larry (Page) on the lyrics annotations startup.

You can read the whole thing here, but let me cut to the key paragraphs of the piece that began, “It takes a few days for things to return to normal, but we’re officially back!”:

Graph No. 1: “First of all, we owe a big thanks to Google for being fair and transparent and allowing us back onto their results pages. We overstepped, and we deserved to get smacked.”

Graph No. 2: “To Google and our fans: We’re sorry for being such morons. We regret our foray into irrelevant unnatural linking. We’re focused on building the best site in the world for understanding lyrics, poetry, and prose and watching it naturally rise to the top of the search results.”

Bokay? But to annotate, in the style of Rap Genius: Hand smacked by search parent. Ouch, but we deserved it. Bygones? Moving on!


Sigh. This is not growth hacking. If anything it's the antithesis. 

From RapGenius themselves:

“The dubious sounding “Rap Genius blog affiliate program”, the self-parodic used car salesman tone of the email to John, the lack of any discretion in the targeting of a partner – this all looked really bad. And it was really bad: a lazy and likely ineffective “strategy”, so over-the-top in its obviousness that it was practically begging for a response from Google."

Look, I know its fun to dump on valley buzzwords, and growth hacking definitely qualifies, but this is just bad, lazy marketing—nothing more. 


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