Google recently expanded the breadth of direct answers in search results to include song lyrics. Powered by the Knowledge Graph and sourced by a licensed provider, Google is now pulling lyrics straight into search results so users don’t have to click through to secondary pages for the web content they want.
Why does this matter for marketers and their content strategies? It potentially puts visibility and clicks at risk. This move suggests Google is getting further away from organic results, which point users to pages that publish content, and is instead providing its own answers.
Companies creating web content around song lyrics to rank in search might not see as much visibility and traffic because users can now get the answers they want straight from Google.
Lyrics sites first targeted with spam, then eliminated?
Moreover, Google previously took action against lyrics sites. The Panda algorithm that rolled out earlier this year hit lyrics sites because they were deemed to have thin, unoriginal content that can be found in other places across the web.
If this is not an isolated instance, but rather a broad shift in its search strategy, Google might treat other genres of content similarly. Specifically, if the information can be found in multiple credible sources, Google might consider the information thin content and provide the data itself in results pages rather than sending searches back to the original source.
Uphold quality, offer original content
From another perspective, this could be seen as Google’s move to clean up the internet. While useful, lyrics sites have generally been saturated with ads that interfere with the user experience. Some were downright spammy. By filtering out what was useful from those sites and dispelling them in trustworthy content on the front page of a search result, Google ensures the user gets the information needed on a clean interface, with minimal interruption.
Regardless of Google’s intent, this announcement is a reminder for marketers to keep their sites in compliance with Google’s Quality Guidelines:
- Maintaining an appropriate balance of ads and organic content
- Providing unique information that’s relevant to the specific target audience
- Creating a useful experience that appears trustworthy
These are features that any good content marketing strategy should have if marketers are going to attract readers and drive conversions. Brands that create unique and useful content should continue to see the rewards in highly visible search results that drive qualified traffic back to their company pages.
For more information about how to create content for SEO with Google’s Knowledge Graph, check out these related resources: