IGN SEO Case Study

IGN WebsiteIGN Entertainment operates the Internet's largest network of destinations for video gaming, entertainment and community geared towards teens and 18-34 year-old males. The company's properties include IGN.com, GameSpy, AskMen.com, RottenTomatoes, FilePlanet, TeamXbox, 3D Gamers, VE3D, Direct2Drive, more than 70 community sites, and a vast array of online forums. IGN Entertainment is also a leading provider of technology for online game play in video games.

The Challenge

When this company contacted SEO Inc; the most advanced SEO company, in the summer of 2003, the site was an established and well known site in the gaming community. The site also had some good search engine rankings and was getting approximately 2.5 million unique visitors per month. At the time, IGN used proprietary in-house content management and a team of content writers. The pages that were generated when new game reviews and information were added to the site were not very well optimized. In addition, there were serious architectural issues with the site, which prevented search engine spiders from thoroughly and consistently crawling the site.

IGN's goals were to “Dominate the search rankings for keywords related to any video games and gaming systems reviewed on the site.” IGN wanted to rank high in the search engines and, most specifically, Google for any and all game titles and variants on those game titles’ phrases. IGN’s revenue is generated from advertising sales, so more traffic leads to more inventory for ad sales, more ads being sold, and therefore, more revenue. In order to generate more traffic, IGN knew that it needed to be much more visible when people used the search engines. 

The Strategy

After several conversations with the IGN team, we created a customized optimization package which was designed to achieve their ranking goals and also fit their budget. Because IGN.com had architectural problems and a proprietary CMS (content management system), it was decided that SEO Inc. would work with their I.T. and web development team at their location in order to do the SEO consultation. As IGN.coms' SEO consultant, this would allow us to send our SEO team to their location for several days to learn how their system worked and partner with IGN’s in-house programmers to improve the system and also complete the optimization. In addition, we created customized SEO best practices and architected these into their proprietary CMS. We also trained their content writers and page developers on SEO content best practices, which are still in place today. When new games and pages are added to the site, they are typically getting ranked within weeks, if not days.

The Results

This was a true and quick success story. Organic search engine rankings skyrocketed and thousands of previously not indexed pages were now being crawled regularly by search engine spiders.

  • Unique visitors to the site doubled within the first two months after the optimization was completed
  • 1500% increase in organic search engine traffic from when they began working with SEO Inc.
  • Massive growth in traffic and revenues enabled acquisition of additional web properties, including Rottentomotoes.com and Askmen.com
  • IGN was acquired by News Corp in September 2005 for $650 million