diberry - 1:27 am on Dec 31, 2012 (gmt 0)
Re: what the Lycos exec told you...
My Penguin affected site was also getting 80% of its traffic from organic Google search (and all my other sites were far less dependent). I've heard others cite that stat, too, so I began to wonder if this was actually part of Penguin: Google detects that they're the vast majority of your traffic, and then they take away most of that traffic.
There are two possible reasons I can see this making sense to them. (1) They could assume if they're the vast majority of your traffic, that you must be doing "aggressive SEO" (as they described Penguin). Or (2) they may have been trying to solve the "feedback loop" issue we've discussed in other threads: once a site ranks highly, many searchers assume it's good and visit it, creating more positive signals for it... but those signals may be based solely on the existing high ranking. It's possible that one aspect of Penguin is to take away your Google dependence and see how you fare for a while. In which case that exec would be even more on the money.
I think it's good advice, whatever the case, and it's what I've been doing. I haven't seen as much recovery from Penguin as you have, but there are other things going on with my site. I've increase my social media presence, and the response from visitors has been positive. Google will respond to that eventually, and in the meantime, I'm building up other traffic sources so I will never again be so reliant on one source.