Once upon a time, if you needed an accurate script of the words recited in a song, you’d head to Google and punch in “[name of song] lyrics,” right? And Google would simply spit out a list of lyrics websites loaded up with as many ads as you can handle and, eventually, the very list of words you’re looking for.
But those sites could soon find themselves in a pinch thanks to Google’s latest move. The company has started showing song lyrics for select songs in Knowledge Graph, their big database of information that aims to tell you what you need to know when you need to know it (and the main driving force behind Google Now).
Our search for Stone Temple Pilots’ lyrics to “Plush” presented the information in the cleanest layout we could ask for, and even hooked us up with a handy link to the lyrics and the ability to buy the song on Google Play. And the best part is there’s not a single ad to be had.
Convenient, handy and useful. But it’s not all good news, particularly for those whose life this might negatively affect: owners of song lyric websites. While Google still includes those wonderful sites in their long list of search results, most folks might not even see them anymore as Google’s built-in lyrics sit on top of everything else. Viewing the search results on my 1080p monitor forces me to scroll down before I’m able to see the first actual listing (as illustrated in the screenshot above).
The short term effects of this change might not be immediately severe — after all, Google doesn’t yet have lyrics for every song you can think of. But the more deals Google strikes with recording companies to offer these lyrics in Google Search and on Google Play, the more traffic to those age-old lyrics sites will fall off. And knowing how much money Google has we reckon it won’t be long before they snap up more of said deals.
What makes matters worse for those guys is YouTube — Google could leverage the treasure trove of song lyric videos uploaded there to not only offer up lyrics, but also actual songs to listen to while you’re perusing those sweet words your ears have come to love.
Whether those sites will be rendered completely obsolete with the move remains to be seen (worth noting here that Google isn’t the only search engine in the world, though it is the largest), but don’t be surprised if this move eats up so much of those folks’ profits that they’re eventually forced to close up shop. Give it a go on Google Search the next time you’re interested in seeing what your favorite song consists of in text.