Musixmatch is a worldwide music community, where fans can search and share lyrics. Because of the number of songs included, it comprises millions of web pages, available through browsers and through dedicated iOS and Android apps, which can also be used as a native music player, providing lyrics in time with the song being played.
It has over 60 million users, and are one of the top companies for lyrics, but have suffered issues with data scraping and scaling their services across new markets.
The client faced a huge, sudden drop in organic traffic, posing an immediate issue which needed rectifying, which was the main reason for approaching Kaizen.
Beyond that, however, the company faced an issue with scaling. The massive size of their site, the way they had designed their international pages, and their existing sitemap structure made it difficult for Google to index a significant proportion of their webpages – lowering the number of organic impressions received by the site.
Kaizen therefore not only needed to find a solution for the most urgent issue of the traffic drop, but also find a long-term implementable strategy for improving the client’s approachability for search engines.
The first issue to be dealt with was the traffic drop. The site was crawled and analysed in order to discover what was causing it.
The problem had arisen as a result of countermeasures put in place by the client to prevent their site being scraped for data by third parties. They had put in place a Captcha which appeared after several pages were visited in quick succession, but this was blocking the Googlebot from indexing their webpages, and so they weren’t ranking on search quite as effectively.
Once this was identified, it was a matter of whitelisting the Googlebot so that it didn’t face this Captcha at any point. This resulted in an immediate improvement in traffic. Similar solutions applied internationally – as a global service, they wanted to retain visibility on non-English search engines such as Baidu, and other major engines like Bing.
From there, it was a matter of assisting with issues in scaling the site upwards.
The first of these was international content. Because the client offers a worldwide service, it is necessary to maintain translations of pages in a number of different languages. However, all content was hosted on the same domain with the international pages contained in subfolders, which was causing issues with duplicated content affecting search rankings.
To account for this, Kaizen developed a number of hreflang sets for the pages, which would show Google that an English page was a version of the international pages and a duplicate, as well as which page to display to users based on their location.
Kaizen also reviewed the sitemap structure for the client site, creating a number of separate sitemaps across the different categories available (authors, albums, songs, etc.) in order to assist the Googlebot in crawling the site most effectively, allowing more pages to be indexed.
The client’s app is available on iOS and Android, and allows the user access to many of the same pages as are available on the website. Kaizen reviewed their implementation of deep linking, which allows Google to serve users coming to the site on mobile devices the app variant of the content – rather than using the mobile site.
To do this, Kaizen mapped the app’s screens to the web-pages with identical content, so that those viewing the content through a browser on a compatible device are now directed to view the content in the app instead, resulting in more app downloads and so more user loyalty.
The client’s site had a significantly large number of backlinks from a wide number of domains, many of which were potentially low quality.
Because of the sheer number of URLs linking to the site, it was difficult to analyse each one individually. Instead, Kaizen used Kerboo to help sort the good, valuable backlinks from the bad.
Backlinks were also filtered to highlight any “adult” keywords, as well as those relating to gambling, and these were disavowed in order to improve the backlink profile, and prevent Google associating the brand with less reputable sites (which would result in lowering it in the search rankings).
Due to implementing the suggested changes, 21% more of the client’s URLs were indexed by the Googlebot, resulting in 15% more organic clicks and 20% more organic impressions.