Damon is...

Digital. Creative. Communication.

I am a web developer and designer.

I love the web. I love the openness of the web design community. I think if we’re careful the internet could fix the world.

I'm interested in design patterns, user experience, typography, back-end coding, visual communication, web standards and accessibility, interfaces, branding... most things, really. I also develop independent theatre and love independent music.

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Meanwhile, back at the blog...

Google’s mishandling of RapGenius spam

Last week or so Google removed rapgenius.com from its search results in response to solid evidence that the site was using spammy techniques to try and get higher search ranking. This is against Google’s terms of service, so they felt justified in taking rapgenius off results for any search. In response to this I am blogging about a relevant topic in an effort to get more hits to my site. But I am doing it over a week late because I’m a despondent millennial who listens to The National.

I dislike black-hat SEO and link spamming and all that, but still, this was bad form on Google’s part. I go to Google search to get the most relevant search results. If I search for rap lyrics right now I won’t get that. I will get pages and pages of ugly, ad-filled results and I will wrinkle my face up like so. I always clicked the RapGenius result in my lyric search because I knew that I would get more out of it. I dig getting annotations with meanings of slang-terms and complicated rhymes. I will get what I want faster by bypassing google and using rapgenius to search; that can’t be what they want. We both lose.

Google is compromising their search engine’s functionality to make a point that could be made other ways. Sure, I support a penalization of rankings on a level with the penalizations of any other lyrics sites that have shady practices (I can’t imagine they all got to the top ranking by exclusively wearing white SEO caps), but this is over the top. Especially considering this could have been one overzealous marketer and have nothing to do with company policy.

It makes me wonder what awesome sites I may not ever see because somebody at Google doesn’t like them. We shouldn’t have to worry about that.

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