Lyric annotation site Rap Genius defined anti-controversy after it was removed by Google from its search rankings over Christmas. But since then, the website has noted its bad behaviour by making an apology.

The memo acknowledges Google's firm, but fair hand in the matter saying they "deserved to get smacked" for its Google rule-breaking SEO practices.

The website employed a strategy that involved the practice of unnatural link building. The approach tends to involve posting links back to a site from irrelevant pages, or producing link farms - sites that exist solely to produce multiple links. Google's algorithm, though growing constantly in its complexity, continues to hold high link numbers in high esteem.

Unnatural link-building though will usually be detected by Google, and guilty websites can find themselves tumbling down the rankings, from front page search results, to a sub-Saharan search wilderness. However, the lyrics site's approach was a little more complicated. While they didn't technically buy or sell links they did offer music bloggers exposure through their social media channels in exchange for links back to its site. This attempt to circumnavigate any suspicious or irrelevant links backfired, thanks to one of Google's linking guidelines, which stated:

"Creating links that weren't editorially placed or vouched for by the site's owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines."

This isn't the first time Rap Genius has run into trouble in recent months - back in November after a takedown notice from the National Music Publishers' association, the site entered a licensing agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Website's that fall foul of Google's strict rules to linkbuilding aren't wiped off the face of the search forever, however, and the site is now making its way back up the rankings after it altered its SEO strategy.

Google commented on Rap Genius' behaviour saying, "we weren't angry. We were just disappointed."