My website was built in January 2015, and most of our keywords related to our content ranked very well in google search results before Sept.23 2016. It's like we were punished by Penguin 4.0 because the timing of our site traffic's fluctuation is closely related to Penguin's releasing, update, and fully rolling out.

You can see the change of our site traffic from google (organic) in this picture enter image description here the first drop is Sep.23 and climbed back in 3 days, the second was on Oct. 2 and back at Oct.6, and the last drop is October 12 but never back again. It's been a week now, and I have disavowed all bad backlinks (38 domains) and cleared the duplicate content, also audit the exceeded internal links on every page. It says that Penguin 4.0 is realtime, but I have not seen any recovery yet. So my question is that, is this really because of Penguin update (haven't receive any mannul action letter in search console)? If it is, does it mean that I haven't done enough to clear all the bad backlinks or else? If it isn't, then what the reason it could be?

Tips: 1. the referral traffic is stable. 2. traffic from Bing is stable (doesn't affect the keywords ranking in Bing).

Oh I forgot to mention one thing which is totally strange: the keywords ranking on Yahoo is still the same as it was before penguin 4.0, but but, the traffic sent by Yahoo is also droped (the same fluctuation graphic as Google's). I mean why, why most of our articles's ranks in Yahoo SERP are still in top 10 but the traffic it sent just remain low now. Traffic from Yahoo the past 30 days

  • IN which niche are you?
    – Tim C
    Oct 19, 2016 at 11:06
  • our site is generally about our free media player software. Oct 20, 2016 at 2:09

2 Answers 2


I'll repeat what I've said over and over. Once one ventures down a spammy road with poor content only dedicated to drawing clicks and view, you will eventually get pulled over by search engine police. Then you spend weeks and months in a holding cell until you can prove you will be good.

Then you are put on probation. Violation of your probation can mean extended periods in jail.

Legitimate sites have no such issues.

  • But we are legitimate, we don't built spammy links and we don't go a spammy road, we write good content only probably with optimized keywords, but far away from keywords stuffing. our ranks were so good, is it because our traffic grows so quickly and our alexa rank down so rapidly so google got jealous? or Penguin thought it's unusually so decide to punish us? our site built in January 2015 and now our alexa rank is 19K (before the penguin it was 18K) Oct 20, 2016 at 3:10
  • @DaisyStyles Why does your site exist? Do you sell a product or service you manufacture? Are you a storefront? Or do you make money by writing articles and hope people click on your ads? The latter provides no value to anyone and Google is good at detecting that. Whenever I read about a site complaining about a drop in SEO and their content consisting of articles and ads, I'm automatically suspicious of it. btw, your Alexa rank means less than nothing.
    – Rob
    Oct 20, 2016 at 14:25
  • Ok, thank you for pointing out that our Alexa ranks means less than nothing. We built this site for people to download our free software, and we don't have any ads, as of our future plan, I don't intend to tell you and I know you don't care. Oct 21, 2016 at 1:55
  • @DaisyStyles I think you don't understand why an Alexa rank means nothing. It only collects data from people who install the Alexa toolbar and who does that? Anyone? I don't have a clue what the rest of your comment means but it's hard to comment about something we can't see.
    – Rob
    Oct 21, 2016 at 2:17
  • Yes, sorry, I just want to tell you that we are not spam, our product is free and good, and our content is closely related to the industry. SEO is our biggest marketing strategy for the freeware and now it sank in water. I guess while we are still figuring out the cause, we need to change our tactics. And thanks for your reply Rob, Sorry that I missunderstood earlier. Oct 21, 2016 at 2:38

Have you removed or completely re-written duplicate content from scratch? This could be a cause if you haven't but by doing so will go a long way in time.

Try rebuilding your link profile again. It could have dropped during the process of removing pages etc especially if you've removed 30-40 links and removed content as well. Building your link profile with fresh content should help boost rankings. If Google have issued you a penalty you should have received a message.

They have apparently issued outbound link penalties over the weekend as well.


It could be another factor that's causing your rankings to decrease. Is it across the board? What else happened on those particular days? Has a competitor entered the market?

Google could potentially just be monitoring you until unnatural behaviour stops. Of which I'd advise you try your best to generate unique, new content and link naturally.

Try and identify which pages have dropped in Organic traffic and begin your analysis around that.

  • Actually there is no "real" duplicate content in our site or our SEO articles, Google also take the "www.xxx.com" and "www.xxx.com/index.htm" or "www.xxx.com/xxxx.htm" and "www.xxx.com/xxx.htm?seo" as duplicate content, so we sort of removed all the "?xxx" tag. But for me I think the duplicate content is not the cause, because I believe that we all write orginal and high quality SEO articles. Oct 20, 2016 at 2:13
  • And our outbound links are also fine, we use "nofollow" tag to all most untrusted links, except some wiki links or youtube links or the links of our other websites. And Yes, it is across the board, but only one or two articles' ranks remain the same. some keywords used to rank in No.2 in the SERP but now they are droped to No. 20 to No.80, and some used to rank in the top 10, but now they are behind the page 10. Oct 20, 2016 at 2:22
  • And one particular thing I noticed yesterday, for the one or two SEO articles whose ranks remain the same, the url of its crumbs showed in the SERP is started with "www", but not "https", our site was ssl certified in this August along with our other sites, all of our other sites' results showed in SERP are started with https, except some of our "rank still remined" articles. Oct 20, 2016 at 2:27
  • but I read about an answer here on stackexchange which I failed to find the url (sorry), it says that it's normal that Google shows different crumbs in results, if your site is ssl certified google can either shows https in the url or without https. it leads me to another dead end but it also confuses me though, Oct 20, 2016 at 2:49
  • the conincidence is that why the rank of articles' urls with the start of "www" showed in the SERP are remaining the same now, (droped like only in 2 days and then recovered quickly)and the rank of all the others like over 700 articles's urls which started with "https" in the SERP are droped dramatically and haven't come back ever since. And also I highly doubt that it's because of a competitor, our ranks are not droped one of two places, you will go a long way to find our specific articals in the SERP by searching some our SEOed keywords... Oct 20, 2016 at 2:49

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