If you’ve ever looked up song lyrics on Google, you’re probably familiar with a few popular lyrics sites: AZlyrics, LyricsFreak, and a number of others. You may be seeing less of those sites, however, due to a change Google has put in place with their search results. Google is now displaying lyrics at the top of your search results, aiming to lead users to Google Play. To make it work, simply type in the name of the song, followed by the word ‘lyrics.’ Instead of giving you lyrics sites right at the top, Google will now offer the lyrics to you without the need to click on a site. Towards the bottom of every lyric search that pops up, you’ll see a link reading “Full lyrics on Google Play.”
Now, Google adding information to their Knowledge Graph isn’t anything particularly new, but it is expanding quite rapidly. However, this does raise a few concerns for lyric sites based on ad revenue. Knowledge graph is meant to give users the correct information at the right time, while still crediting other sources. Think of it this way: If you Google an actor’s age, Knowledge Graph will tell you the answer, but will still credit sites like IMDB or Wikipedia. But with Google promoting their own content stores, that takes ad revenue away from other popular lyrics sites.
It should be noted that Knowledge Graph doesn’t appear to recognize every song title that’s typed in. Mainly less-popular songs don’t show lyrics at the top of the page, which could mean Google’s lyric database is slightly limited at the time. We’re unsure as to when this change in Google Search began rolling out, but the first time it was noticed was a few days ago in a Google+ post.
We get it – Google is weeding out the less-desirable lyrics sites that are covered in ads – but in doing so, it may be hurting other lyric sites in the process.