Google has been experimenting with how to make the reconsideration request process better for webmasters who have been dealt a manual action penalty by Google.
Google’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts, put out a new Webmaster Help video discussing reconsideration requests and whether or not they’re actually read by humans. The video was a response to the following user-submitted question:
Right now, when a webmaster sends a reconsideration request, how many chances does it have to be read by a real human? Do you plan to make it possible for webmasters to answer when they get a result back from Google?
“Whenever you do a reconsideration request, if you don’t have any manual action by the webspam team, so there’s no way we could do anything, in essence, because it’s algorithmically determining where you’re ranking, those are automatically closed out,” says Cutts. “Those aren’t looked at by a human being, but 100% of all the other reconsideration requests are looked at by a real person.”
“We don’t have the time to individually reply with a ton of detail, and so we do think about ways to be more scalable, and so I understand it might not be as satisfying to get, ‘Yeah, we think you’re okay,’ or ‘No, you still have issues,’ but that is a real human that is looking at that and generating the response that you read back,” he says.
He goes on to say that if Google still thinks you have issues with your site, you should take the time to investigate and figure out some things you can do before submitting another request. If you just submit it again without doing anything, Google will likely consider you to be “hard headed” and find it “unproductive to continue that conversation.”
“We’ve actually been trying a very experimental program where when we see someone who’s done a reconsideration request more than once, we’ll sample a small number of those and send those to other people to sort of say, ‘Okay, let’s do a deeper dig here.’ You know, maybe we need to send a little bit more info or investigate in a little bit more detail,” continues Cutts. “It’s just one of the ways we’ve been experimenting. We’ve actually been doing it for quite a while to try to figure out, ‘Okay, are there other ways that we can improve our process? Other ways that we can communicate more?’ So it’s the kind of thing where we don’t guarantee that if you appeal a couple times that you’ll get any sort of more detailed of an answer, but there are people reading all those reconsideration requests.”