Yes. You read that correctly.
As I stated before I never wanted to see RapGenius.com go away or get shut down. I just wanted to see them get licensed. And I was pleased to see that they decided to sit down with The National Music Publishers Association and work out licenses.
But then I see this story.
RapGenius engaged in some “black hat” spammy SEO (search engine optimization) and they got caught. And now Google has demoted them. Rather than ranking number #1-5 on lyric searches as they did in many searches I conducted, they are now on page 7!
Not search result #7! Page 7! Has anyone ever scrolled 7 pages into search results?
Industry pundits claim this is an effective “death sentence” for the site. And I bet they are right. According to Vice and Quantcast they’ve lost 80% of their web traffic in days!!
So think about it.
RapGenius violated the Search Engine Optimization rules arbitrarily set by a private company Google. A set of rules Google itself appears to routinely violate to push it’s own property YouTube up in search results.
RapGenius didn’t violate any real law created by an elected legislative body when they did this. But now they are considered “toast”
So do we really want a monopolistic über politically connected company like Google to be this powerful? To have life or death power over any and all websites? No trial, no jury, no appeals process, no nothing.
Face it people the web is ruled by an autocratic, unelected and unaccountable search engine.
What happens to freedom of expression when you have a search engine that is this powerful?
Fuck that, what happens to democracy? If a candidate proposes something that Google doesn’t like will that candidate’s website suddenly sink to page 7? (And the first 6 pages are filled with links to negative stories about the candidate?)
Surely the internet free speech advocates have something to say about this?
Isn’t it funny that Google won’t noticably demote a site demonstrably and unequivocally involved in a RICO predicate like industrial scale file infringement. But you try to game their SEO and you get demoted to page 7. Don’t be evil. Yeah right.
On the bright side Google just admitted that they can do more than they say they can about file infringing websites. They can demote them. Same with human trafficking and other exploitative businesses. And see the Internet didn’t break.