Bill Hartzer

Penalized or Banned in Google? Don’t Issue a Press Release Like IGXE Internet Gaming Exchange

If your website is banned in the Google search engine or if your website is penalized, then I don’t recommend writing and distributing a press release about it. IGXE the Internet Gaming Exchange, a company that specializes in selling MMORPG currencies, items, power leveling, and CD-keys, such as World of Warcraft gold, apparently got penalized in the Google search engine for buying links. As a result, instead of admitting that they did something wrong, they issued a press release telling others that they should not hire network marketing companies.

Here is some of the text from the press release that IGXE issued today. Essentially, they blamed someone else (network marketing companies) rather than themselves for getting penalized. They bought links, which is against Google’s acceptable Webmaster Guidelines. Google caught them, and penalized their website as a result.

WILMINGTON, Del., May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — In January 2013, IGXE (, one of the top in-game branding service websites specializing in MMORPG currencies, items, power leveling, and CD-keys, was punished by Google after IGXE took advantage of network marketing companies to improve its website ranking. When IGXE disappeared from the Google search engine, customers were left wondering why. Some even assumed that IGXE was closed. Others felt panic over their unused bonuses and vouchers. For this, the manager of IGXE marketing department, Vinson Hall, sought to assuage all concerns in an interview.

This punishment brought big losses to, as we lost lots of customers including our old customers. We learned a lesson. Vinson said that IGXE has already terminated its cooperation with network marketing companies. What’s more, bonuses or vouchers can still be used on IGXE. At any given time, IGXE will always protect its customers.

The whole premise for this press release (the reason behind it) is to blame some “network marketers” which I think honestly is a mistake. The problem mean “online marketers” or “internet marketers” rather than “network marketers”. The person who wrote the press release doesn’t appear to have a good command of the English language.

Rather than blaming some other company for your mistakes (buying links), then IGXE should only blame themselves. The company is ultimately responsible for all of their online marketing activities. If you choose to outsource your marketing efforts, then you must police those efforts and monitor everything that is being done.

There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing that you’re paying for links (which is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines). There are plenty of tools available for you to check the links to your website, and even some like Majestic SEO will give you all the data about your own website for free (as long as you prove you’re the owner of you site).

So, what happened?

According to IGXE, in January 2013, IGXE received a notice from Google (most likely via a message from Google Webmaster Tools) stating that there were unnatural links pointing to their website. Google also at the time apparently either banned IGXE from the search results or they severely penalized the site. for what it’s worth, IGXE is back in the search results now for brand-related keyword phrases.

What is amazing to me is that IGXE’s CEO is blaming Google for all of this. The company’s CEO is doing everything they can to blame someone else for this loss of revenue and “reputation”, and they’re not blaming themselves for doing something that is so very clearly against the search engine’s guidelines. Here is what IGXE’s CEO had to say:

It influenced our reputation significantly. Even now, some customers think that IGXE is closed. Besides, Google’s punishment affected IGXE negatively. As far as we know, we have already lost 30 percent of our old customers. Although we tried many other ways to reduce the loss, we still lost the trust of customers. This cannot be calculated.

Apparently IGXE has lost a lot of money and a lot of traffic. It even “influenced their reputation”. And they’ve already lost 30 percent of their customer base. IGXE apparently took a big hit in rankings and traffic when they were “caught” by Google buying links to their website. They are apparently now cleaning up the links. But, based on my experience, the site may not fully recover.

What’s my advice, here? Don’t buy links. But if you’re going to buy links (or participate in link schemes that are against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines), don’t blame someone else for something that you did. Don’t blame the network marketers. Don’t blame the SEOs. Don’t blame the online marketers.

And whatever you do, don’t blame Zac, the “famous” SEO specialist:

Zac, the famous SEO specialist, said that there many ways to cheat SEO including hidden links, link spam, paid links, keyword stuffing, and more.

Who the heck is Zac?

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