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Reconsideration Request Tips From Google [Updated]

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Reconsideration Request Tips From Google [Updated]
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If you think you’ve been wrongfully hit by Google’s Penguin update, Google has provided a form that you can fill out, in hopes that Google will see the light and get your site back into the mix.

The update is all about targeting those in violation of Google’s quality guidelines. It’s an algorithmic approach designed to make Google better at what it has been trying to do all along. For those Google has manually de-indexed, there is still a path to redemption, so it seems likely that those impacted by the update can recover as well.

For example, if you were busted participating in a link scheme, you’re not necessarily out of Google forever. Google says once you’ve made changes to keep your site from violating Google’s guidelines, you can submit a reconsideration request.

To do so, go to Webmaster Tools, sign into your Google account, make sure you have your site verified, and submit the request.

Google’s Rachel Searles and Brian White discuss tips for your request in this video:

“It’s important to admit any mistakes you’ve made, and let us know what you’ve done to try to fix them,” says Searles. “Sometimes we get requests from people who say ‘my site adheres to the guidelines now,’ and that’s not really enough information for us, so please be as detailed as possible. Realize that there are actually people reading these requests.”

“Ask questions of the people who work on your site, if you don’t work on it yourself,” she suggests, if you don’t know why you’re being penalized. Obviously, read the quality guidelines. She also suggests seeking help on the Google Webmaster forum, if you’d like the advice of a third party.

“Sometimes we get reconsideration requests, where the requester associates technical website issues with a penalty,” says White. “An example: the server timed out for a while, or bad content was delivered for a time. Google is pretty adaptive to these kinds of transient issues with websites. So if you sometimes misread the situation, as ‘I have a penalty,” and seek reconsideration, it’s probably a good idea to wait a bit, see if things revert to their previous state.”

“In the case of bad links that were gathered, point us to a URL-exhaustive effort to clean that up,” he says. “Also, we have pretty good tools internally, so don’t try to fool us. There are actual people, as Rachel said, looking at your reports. If you intentionally pass along bad or misleading information, we will disregard that request for reconsideration.”

“And please don’t spam the reconsideration form,” adds Searles. “It doesn’t help to submit multiple requests all the time. Just one detailed concise report and just get it right the first time.”

Google says they review the requests promptly.

Update: Apparently reconsideration requests don’t do you a lot of good if you were simply hit by the algorithm. A reader shares (in the comments below) an email from Google in response to such a request:

Dear site owner or webmaster of http://www.example-domain.com/,

We received a request from a site owner to reconsider http://www.example-domain.com/ for compliance with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

We reviewed your site and found no manual actions by the webspam team that might affect your site’s ranking in Google. There’s no need to file a reconsideration request for your site, because any ranking issues you may be experiencing are not related to a manual action taken by the webspam team.

Of course, there may be other issues with your site that affect your site’s ranking. Google’s computers determine the order of our search results using a series of formulas known as algorithms. We make hundreds of changes to our search algorithms each year, and we employ more than 200 different signals when ranking pages. As our algorithms change and as the web (including your site) changes, some fluctuation in ranking can happen as we make updates to present the best results to our users.

If you’ve experienced a change in ranking which you suspect may be more than a simple algorithm change, there are other things you may want to investigate as possible causes, such as a major change to your site’s content, content management system, or server architecture. For example, a site may not rank well if your server stops serving pages to Googlebot, or if you’ve changed the URLs for a large portion of your site’s pages. This article has a list of other potential reasons your site may not be doing well in search.

If you’re still unable to resolve your issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.

Sincerely,

Google Search Quality Team

Anyhow, should you need to submit a reconsideration request (I assume Google will still take manual action as needed), these tips might still come in handy.

Image: Batman Returns from Warner Bros.

Reconsideration Request Tips From Google [Updated]
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  • http://www.printablecouponcode.com NICK

    This is really bs because whether you participated in a link scheme or not you shouldn’t get penalized. A lot of the links I get I never asked for. All they’ve done is opened the door for negative seo. Want to get ahead of another site? Just put them in a link scheme. Get them tons of crappy links and let them try to request removal.

    Bad links should be discredited not kill your rankings.

  • Luis

    I think google will review this google penguin,
    In my opinion it was unfair to plenty of webmasters.

  • F0l2saken

    Yeah, instead of filling out the form like google wants you too why don’t you assist the FTC in suing them for this. As you can see here http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/27/technology/google-antitrust-inquiry-advances.html?_r=4&pagewanted=1&hp google is about to get owned by the FTC In court. I’ve done google the favor of sending screenshots of them constantly deleting complaints about penguin in webmaster forums and on the blog post where matt I don’t know anything cutts posted about penguin going live. I’m sure the FTC’s attourneys will love the screenshots. You screw over webmasters, we return the favor. Enjoy your year in court Google, can’t wait to see how many millions if not billions you lose over this.

  • http://www.taxiwebsitedesigner.com Bradley Collins

    One of my client website got its due after 5 months of wait due to this Penguin Update. It is ranked high since it had no-nonsense content but straight.

    I’m not sure of other websites, still testing them.

    This article does makes sense in case of hit in ranking by the new update, Thank You…

  • http://goo.gl/5jNTS Bholi@ unlocked cell phones

    hello Good Information About Google penguin………)

  • http://www.rahaseo.com groho

    I think this algorithm updates will affect so much in SERP. Create content for user will be better now than create content for search engine

  • Alex

    I don’t get, if the reconsideration request is necessery? If all changes was automaticly, why isn’t enough just to make changes and wait for Google to index that changes?

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      You can try that, but all the quality guideline documentation recommends reconsideration requests.

      • https://plus.google.com/u/0/115194199565322841506/about John S. Britsios

        Chris, if the penalty is not manual and you file a re-consideration request you would get a message from Google like this:

        Dear site owner or webmaster of http://www.example-domain.com/,

        We received a request from a site owner to reconsider http://www.example-domain.com/ for compliance with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

        We reviewed your site and found no manual actions by the webspam team that might affect your site’s ranking in Google. There’s no need to file a reconsideration request for your site, because any ranking issues you may be experiencing are not related to a manual action taken by the webspam team.

        Of course, there may be other issues with your site that affect your site’s ranking. Google’s computers determine the order of our search results using a series of formulas known as algorithms. We make hundreds of changes to our search algorithms each year, and we employ more than 200 different signals when ranking pages. As our algorithms change and as the web (including your site) changes, some fluctuation in ranking can happen as we make updates to present the best results to our users.

        If you’ve experienced a change in ranking which you suspect may be more than a simple algorithm change, there are other things you may want to investigate as possible causes, such as a major change to your site’s content, content management system, or server architecture. For example, a site may not rank well if your server stops serving pages to Googlebot, or if you’ve changed the URLs for a large portion of your site’s pages. This article has a list of other potential reasons your site may not be doing well in search.

        If you’re still unable to resolve your issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.

        Sincerely,

        Google Search Quality Team

        • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

          John, thanks for this. I’ve updated the article referencing your sample email. Definitely good to know. I’ve had a hard time getting Google to answer my questions related to this.

          Google’s presentation on all of this has been a little misleading in my opinion, but this make sense.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/115194199565322841506/about John S. Britsios

      That is exactly what I wanted to ask too! The article sounds to be pretty misleading. If the penalty was not manual and was algorithmic, a re-consideration request does not work. Or am I missing something?

  • John

    Good tips, Can anyone tell me what is google Penguin about? My site was broken and don’t know what’s going on

  • http://www.facebook.com/omniesolutions Omnie Solutions

    Its perfect step taken by the Google and i would go to support it.

  • http://www.altinkumpropertyforsale.com Ozsubasi

    I filed for reconsideration last Saturday 28/04 and received the reply (as per John S. Britsios post) yesterday 02/05.
    I’ve also completed the feedback form but don’t see how that could work. If it was decided that my site had been unfairly hit and a manual adjustment was made, wouldn’t it just fall back down the next time it was crawled and penguin was applied again?

  • don

    thats the major beef here, its that google has manually placed a penalty against sites that drops them in rankings, it is not simply an algo adjustment as they describe where they may devalue links, content, etc

    otherwise you would simply see your ranking drop, in many cases websites hit by this are out of the 1st 500 results…yes this is a penalty and manual adjustment down. The fact that they dont support this through webmaster tools is BS

  • http://www.varpal.com john

    Thank you so much for this post,God bless

  • http://www.nowinnofeesolicitors.co.uk no win no solicitors

    great information, but my thoughts are google won’t very easily get your site back to where it was until you have actually proven (few months of making google happy) that you have really changed things. I assume 60% of websites who were hit are making these kind of requests