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Help understanding if/why my site has been penalised?



2:03 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)


I want to thank you for your loving community, been browsing
around for quit a bit but did not find what im looking for.
Im trying to figure out if our site has been penalised.

Our rank over the last 8-9 months has decreased drastically,
we normally dont focus much on off page SEO. We get
5-100s of links for each post we publish and we used to
rank quit high for many competitive keywords in our niche.

But since about February our rankings started to drop. Our
site is clean, very fast and high quality content is published.
But still we see this decrease. We have [U]not[/U] gotten
any message in Google Webmaster Tools.

For example for a keyword we went from having the
top 3 spots on google to 4-5th page. What
we do have is 4-6 ads above the fold, so im wondering
if that might trigger the lower rank.

If it does, is it done manually or automatically?

If manually how should I proceed?

Thanks ahead


3:51 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

If it is a manual penalty there will be a message in your WMT account Look under Search traffic and then under manual actions

If no manual actions try to find out when your traffic dropped and if it coincides with one of the many updates.

If manual they will tell you why and have a link to a video from there you should pretty much know what to do and how to resolve or pass the message on to your marketing people


7:39 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)


Ohh i didnt even know about the "Manual Actions" link. Thanks for the tip.

I get the following message there:
No manual webspam actions found.

According to my analytics, i lost 50% of traffic around 15th March, and then about 40% more on 20th May.

According to Moz:
Panda #25 March 14, 2013
"Phantom" May 9, 2013

Check out my rankings here:


10:22 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Penguin update was on 22nd of May, two days before you lost the traffic, so I am wondering whether this could be connected (e.g. Google test bed subset).

What was the spike somewhere early/mid Feb? From your graph it seems to me that your traffic drop on 15th of March pretty much returned to levels the traffic was before this spike. Could it be connected?

We get 5-100s of links for each post we publish and we used to rank quit high for many competitive keywords in our niche

Are these links organic? What is the anchor text for these links - is it keyword rich or just URL/click here ?

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