A Suggestion for a More Scalable Reinclusion Request Procedure

Jan 28, 2008 • 9:23 am | comments (5) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Last week, DazzlinDonna wrote an open letter to Matt Cutts asking him why her PageRank has been impacted when she's already removed all wording to the effect of accepting paid links and submitted a reinclusion request. John Honeck writes about how the events unfolfed, which basically went something like this: Donna wrote the post, it got Sphunn, Matt saw and commented with some proposed changes, Donna responded and made the changes, and other people started chiming in. (On that note, Matt, look at my site. I submitted a request twice!)

John's proposed solution is something that already seems to exist (from my experience), but he lists it as follows:

  1. Site owner fixes site and submits a reconsideration request.
  2. Google reviews the site and finds some outstanding violations.
  3. Google sends a message back in the site owners webmaster’s tools message center saying, “We have received and reviewed your request for consideration. Unfortunately at this time we are unable to act on your request due to continued possible violations of our Webmaster Guidelines. Please feel free to review the Webmaster’s Guidelines, make any changes that you find appropriate and resubmit your reconsideration request”
  4. Site owner digs deeper and sends in request.
  5. Google responds with another note, “We have received and reviewed your request for consideration. It appears that your site is now within our guidelines.”

The one concern is point #3 which, because there are no responses from the Google Webmaster Team (at least from my experience once again), there's no way to really determine if the request has been actually investigated. So John's solution would clear up the conception that the Google Webmaster Team isn't listening or looking.

John ends up saying that it's just a fair thing for everyone. I agree.

Having Matt Cutts be the voice of Google out there writing on his own blog, commenting on people’s sites, and occasionally penning something on the official webmaster’s blog is great and wonderful for the community that watches that sort of thing. I just believe that those people are a small subset of the actual webmaster population and the majority should not be at a disadvantage because they don’t subscribe to the right feeds.

(Though, John, Matt has not taken me seriously at least 3 times--at least!--and I know he reads this blog!)

What do you think? Is communication closed? Should the reinclusion procedure be a lot more communicative, at least to the point of the Google Webmaster Team acknowledging receipt of the messages and stating that they are unable to make changes at this time?

Forum discussion continues at Sphinn. (Oh and Matt, I'm looking at you.)

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Matt Cutts

01/28/2008 04:03 pm

Barry, see my comments over at http://www.seo-scoop.com/2008/01/24/matt-cutts-why-am-i-still-being-punished/ for my take on this.

Tamar Weinberg

01/28/2008 04:17 pm

Matt, it's me again. Not Barry. :P As far as your take, I see that the sentiment on Donna's blog is rather similar. It would be nice to get an email response at least saying that the request is denied, because otherwise the assumption is that the request falls on deaf ears. Oh, and you can email me if you want as to why my issue still hasn't been answered (even now!) :P

Matt Webb

01/28/2008 04:50 pm

Agreed. The Webmaster Tools section could even take it a step further and list out errors on which pages so people with thousands of pages don't suffer at the hand of ambiguity.

David Eaves

01/29/2008 02:18 am

I would love to know what I need to do to get my Biz-Dir.co.uk back in the rankings, from what I have heard so far it probably got penalized because it used to have a reciprocal link option on the submission page, this was taken away months ago though, I have dropped all of my paid links and sent 2 reinstatement requests to no avail. Knowing weather or not it had been rejected would be a big help.

Matt Cutts

01/29/2008 02:28 am

Doh, sorry that I missed that it was you, Tamar.

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