Case Studies

Penalized Blog Case Study: Update 2

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Remember that I bought a penalized site last week for $4001?

I have updates to share with you so I thought about writing this blog post.

You can go back and read that article, so I wouldn’t repeat the same stuff here. But a lot of interesting things happened with the site lately.

As I told you in that post, the seller lied quite a lot about his website’s stat (he didn’t tell us it was a penalized site which is fine as we figured it out, but he lied about the other monetization methods too such as his Instagram shoutouts, guest posts and etc.

Hi, I'm​ Khalid...

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So I tried to at least get a partial refund of $2000.

According to our team (and I agree), getting a partial refund for a site where pretty much all seller claims are wrong is worth trying for.

I am sure, if we want, we can get the whole amount back from Flippa & PayPal, but I am only interested in a partial one as I still want to keep the site and do this case study.

So I did that, I had a long chat with the seller via email, the seller agreed to everything about penalty, lies with his numbers,. and asked me to push the domain first before refunding me.

I only wanted a 50% refund for his lies but he agreed to a 100% refund.

Interesting, right?

I didn’t want to fall for that as I am 100% sure he would have ran with the domain 🙁

So I didn’t agree.

Unfortunately, our 50% refund claim also got denied on PayPal (we can still re-open it but I kind of lost hope).

On top of this, the seller actually went into 100 forums and created a story about how he is a small child and I am a big marketer, trying to scam him. In those forums, people dug deep and found my profile (where the seller actually already knew about my site as it is in all my email signature and he is also a subscriber of my blog).

Normally, I wouldn’t bother about any of these but I got 2 emails from my subscribers who were saying, how come you scammed a kid from Vietnam and etc.

I had to write this one to clarify things.

Remember, I told you in my Flippa review that they are a shit platform? I still stand strong about that.

Anyway, back to the drama!

So when I bought the site, seller had these 4 promises

  • The site makes money from Adsense & Affiliates
  • The site sells at least two shoutouts/week on Instagram
  • The site sells at least two guest posts/week
  • Also, there was no talk about the Google Penalty
  • And he now has another site competing for the same keywords.

So I wrote him this email:

At this point, I actually thought we would at least get half of our money back (which i still think we should).

This was the reply:

Anyway, long story short, we couldn’t get the refund and got badly bashed on 100 SEO forums too (thanks to our competitors in Bangladesh).

It was a fun day, that’s for sure.

Thoughts? Comments? Should I not have asked for that partial refund even after we found out the lies?

At least we got some internet marketing drama! That’s so hard to find these days.

We are already working on improving the site now and trying to see what we can do to remove the penalty.

I will have more updates about that on Update 3.

I really need a comment from you to boost me up today.


I am Khalid, a blogger and a geek when it comes to anything related to online marketing. Stay connected to me. Leave a comment if you like my articles.


  1. Jamie Irwin Reply

    Hi mate, been following your blog since I read your last post (penalised site purchase). Really interesting stuff, especially since we buy off the same channels (Flippa and Empire Flippers) and are in the same industry.

    I, too, stand by your comments about Flippa. I take all information on Flippa listings with a pinch of salt. Even their editor’s choice listings I have identified as scams before and they claim they have been “thoroughly vetted by an expert”. What a load of BS.

    I would report all of this to Flippa, on social channels and keep pursuing PayPal.

    It’s difficult recovering from a big purchase like that but you are certainly making the most of it. I wish you all the best mate, keep the head up!

    • KhalidFarhan Reply

      Thanks for the support Jamie 🙂 I don’t think I will re-open the claim but hey, at least got your comment here. That’s something positive out of the whole thing.

  2. Fahad Zitu Reply

    hope for the best and got idea about negative aspects, good wishes for u

  3. Assalamu Alaykum,
    Mr. Khalid Farhan
    I think you deserve the refun. Let us update what is happened with this site, I am eagerly waiting to see your experiment result with this site. till then, All the best.

    • TruthToBeTold Reply

      Hello Khalid,

      You’re one of the honest Bangladeshi Internet Marketers, I truly believe.

      I can sense the situation. You can’t expect 100% truthfulness from a seller, no matter what they sell and where they live. It’s you who should have checked everything before purchasing.

      And I have been reading the biggest one from those 100 forums for 3 years and I know how they practise negativity and how easily they go against the whole citizens of tier 3 countries. It’s normal there. So take it easy.

      Anyway, I hope your business and journey remain the best. Don’t lose hope.

      Have a great time!

  4. Faisal Rahman Reply


    Internet market is full of scammy people now. He might get away with it but he will suffer for sure.

    As you have got more experience than many people in this market, you will surely overcome it. The amount you lost is not a huge amount for you and I think you should get at least a partial refund.

    However, you have the expertise to build on that site and make sure you beat that scammer website which targets the same keywords.

    Best of luck

    • KhalidFarhan Reply

      Thanks for the wish Faisal 🙂 Much appreciated.

  5. shamim asfak Reply

    Hope you can recover this penalty. Eagerly waiting for next part of the case study

    • KhalidFarhan Reply

      Coming soon. Already did some work to the site. Let’s see what happens 🙂

      • hope for the best and got idea about negative aspects.Hopefully you can recover this wish for you❤️

    • Abdullah Al Noman Reply

      It is very cautious for digital marketing, which will be very difficult for those who come to this business as a newbie. Best wishes you for the rapid development of the site. We will have the opportunity to learn a lot of details.

      Thanks for update

      • Abu Saleh Hridoy Reply


        What’s your next plan to remove the penalty? You should also create a blog about that, so we can get an idea of it.

        Thank you.

  6. Darko Ristevski Reply

    Probably inappropriate to spam email people about this.

    • KhalidFarhan Reply

      We never really spam people. The only way you can receive an email from me is either by subscribing to this blog or by purchasing any of our services or opening a client account at our client portal.

      Cheers Darko 🙂

      • Hi
        What happened next..?
        I think you did a great job with your site.

        Good Luck

  7. Shohag Hossain Reply

    I think you will struggle for removing the penalty. its a really interesting case study.

  8. Mahfug Alam Reply

    hi bro,

    I hope you will get the amount back and i am also 3000% sure you will remove this penalty as soon as possible .
    if i bought this site and see those problem , i want back my full amount

  9. Jasimuddin Reply

    Infact I like your game. One day thousands of dollars will generate income from the penalised hunting site. Besides you will gather more experience.

  10. Hi farhan,
    I have been following you since august,2018. In one of your youtube video,you said,”if you have expert level knowledge/skill on something, surely you will get job”. that was an awesome motivation for me**…i guess you have advance level knowledge about internet marketing . i believe you will make profit from this website and as long as i know you ,you gonna make it possible…i read case study and review but i don’t understand how does it possible! that you have been scammed?…is there any option to check the earning statistic before buying these type website???

    **..from then i have decided that i will be an expert of making website ….now i can make website but not in expert level ..i am trying …my target is theme forest …do have any blog or video from that i can learn pros and cons about theme forest platform like Flippa ????

    • KhalidFarhan Reply

      Hi Nazmul,

      It is actually not a 100% scam. The title is a little Click-baity. You can say, it is more of a 50% scam. When I buy sites, I am not the only one who works on due-diligence. I have a small team. But of course, the fault is mine. Not blaming anyone else.

      Themeforest is a platform to buy themes. I am not sure about your question. Do you want to sell themes there to make money?

  11. Md Rashidul Islam Reply

    Waiting for the next update. Hope you will overcome this bad situation bro?

  12. Md Shakhawat Hossen Saikat Reply

    Hi Brother
    I have been Following you since 2018. A facebook video inspired me to following you. You are very helpful person.
    I hope you will get the amount back. I am waiting for your next experiment.

  13. I think as you did not do your research properly you should not be given any refund. It was your responsibility to do full checks on the website before buying. Using escrow it pretty much common sense as well.

    • KhalidFarhan Reply

      Hi Ashley,

      That’s a fair point. We should 100% have been more careful. The seller couldn’t do an Escrow deal so we had to do direct PayPal.

  14. Nadim Mahmud Reply

    I think, we are going to see how to remove penalties and monetize a site again – in this series. This may happen to us too. So it is very important to learn how to recover a site from a state like this one. Thanks for the tricky effort.

  15. Hi farhan,
    i hope we all of your followers are going to get a youtube video about this scammed ….and my request to you,please give us pros and cons information and update news about this incident…really it is like a thriller book and i’m eagerly waiting to see the end and being informed that you finally get success…

    • Siddhartha Reply

      Hi Khalid Vai,
      It’s really an upsetting incident. But hope it will help you to gather a bit more experience about digital scamming and strengthen your skill to over come such odds.
      Hope for the best.

      • Sarwar Hossain Reply


        Hope you will overcome it. Believe that you have the strong capability to recover such type of case.


  16. Arafat Rahman Reply

    Good Luck, Khalid. I am sure you’ll turn this around in your favour. Waiting to learn about the penalty and your strategy in the undoing of it.


  17. Best wishes to you. I am quite sure you will recover it. after all, you are the BOSS.

  18. Wish you all the best about your next PayPal claim so that gets approved and you get the partial amount back. Thanks for concerning us about this kind of situations as well.

  19. Hello following your blog. What is current status of this site as it was 4 month old post. Interested to know what steps you taking to get all things up.


  20. Interesting marketing drama…..waiting for the next update…

  21. Always i’m following your blog and always waiting for your new blog . You are my idol always i follow you


  22. Md Alamgir Reply

    Hi Brother,
    Don’t worry about the refund. InSa-Allah you will be succeeded by this site. Love you bro 🙂

  23. Cyprus diving Reply

    We are a family run dive centre in Cyprus, we love your content.

    • Shows the dirty lengths people go to for easy money… this makes me skeptical to even purchase sites on empire flippers …. you are all the more wiser from the experience I have been burned myself for tens of thousands in business . You are even more of an online beast with these scars now. By the way how did you know the website was hit by an algorithm penalty . Was it by simply looking at decrease in traffic?

  24. Lol shows the dirty lengths people go to for an easy dollar. I have been burned myself many times … now you are wiser though in your screening process. Even more of a seo beast that you are ! By the way , being fairly new to seo myself . How are you able to track an “algorithm penalty” like you mentioned . Was it simply seeing a decrease in traffic?

  25. Fahim Faysal Reply

    Its very bad thing.. But whats the status right now of this site.?
    i know you recovered it but i want to know how.. thanks in advanced

  26. Tajul Islam Dolon Reply

    It’s a big learning for newcomers like me on internet marketing. Brother, you are a pioneer in this field. You will surely overcome this setback.

    • Mrinmoy Sadiq Reply

      If I were you I would have definitely tried to get the whole amount back . Very curious to know the current update of the site. Hope you’ll get around the situation soon 😊

  27. Md. Anisur Rahman Reply

    Actually i am feeling shocked due to hearing scam news.I am recently want to create a website like you and want to sell it also.
    What is the suggestion or awareness point for me

  28. Hope you can make a way out to overcome the panalised status and make it a profitable one. Best wishes.

  29. Zakariyar Mamoon Reply

    Dear Khalid bhai,

    Hope that you would overcome such type situation as you are the boss.

    Best of luck!


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