The suits over at AZLyrics and MetroLyrics are undoubtedly having the:
Bluest Christmas Ever…
Due to a game-changing update Google just made to its Knowledge Graph algorithm:
Yes, my friends, those are the song lyrics to Disclosure’s mega-hit, Latch, appearing on an SERP, above the organic results for AZLyrics.com and MetroLyrics.com.
Good Boys, Good Boys, Whatchu Gonna Do When Google Comes for You?
The new Knowledge Graph Lyrics Card appears when a user searches for the lyrics of select songs, ranging from Katy Perry’s Dark Horse; to the Jackson 5’s ABC; to Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You.
Google defines Knowledge Graph as a project providing “results based on a database of real world people, places, things, and the connections between them.”
It started out as a seemingly altruistic endeavor, all in an effort to help Searchers “research a topic faster and more in depth than before.”
For instance, in the Film Card for Iron Man, Google provides links to an assortment of sites, including Google Play.
But the new Lyrics Card is 100% self-serving, driving traffic to Google Play’s music store solamente:
The Business of Lyrics
Song lyric sites are BIG business.
Back into 2009, The New York Times reported that MetroLyrics generated close to $10 million in advertising revenue.
And in 2012, the start-up lyrics site, Rap Genius, raised $15 million in venture capital.
Not surprisingly, Google, and its Google Play music arm, wants a controlling piece of the lyrics pie. And it is unapologetic as it embarks on cannibalizing the competition via the very platform by which they receive the bulk of their traffic.
Shiver Me e-Timbers!
Last year, when Google blacklisted the lyrics site RapGenius for its Black Hat SEO tactics, the site’s traffic took one hellavu nosedive:
Even though AZLyrics and MetroLyrics have not been blacklisted, just imagine how much of an impact Google’s Lyrics Card will have on their traffic and revenue.
A Most Temporary Stopgap
Right now, one saving grace for AZLyrics, MetroLyrics, et.al., is that the Lyrics Card only appears on certain songs (albeit more popular ones) when a user includes the word “lyric” in the search phrase.
If a user searches for “Disclosure Latch,” a YouTube-centric Knowledge Graph card appears instead, with “Full Lyrics…” as a smaller, almost unnoticeable link at the bottom of the card:
Yet there’s no telling how long this stopgap will last.
Because with a few extra lines of code and flip of a switch, Google could easily update its algorithm so that song lyrics appear in a more obtrusive way on the Knowledge Graph card for non-lyric yet song-related SERP pages.
It will be interesting to see how this SEO massacre (Google v. All Other Lyrics Sites) will play out in the coming months.
And it will also be interesting to see which industry Google will end up cannibalizing next via its SERP.
Whichever it is, it won’t be purty.