Google: Short & Basic Reconsideration Requests Won't Do It.

Aug 27, 2013 • 8:46 am | comments (28) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

google Reconsideration RequestsIf you didn't get the memo yet, and we've covered what Google expects from reconsideration requests before - Google wants details in the request.

If you have a manual action and it shows up in the manual action viewer, you can submit the review request over there.

But don't go short and basic. John Mueller, Google's Webmaster Trends Analyst, said in a Google Webmaster Help thread in response to why one site that sent multiple requests didn't get a satisfactory reason:

One of the things we noticed was that your last reconsideration request was a bit short & basic, which when taken on its own, gave the team a wrong impression about the steps you've taken to resolve this issue on the web. Earlier ones were much better in that regard.

My general recommendation for reconsideration requests would be to make sure that you're really submitting the right & relevant information there, so that it's clear to those processing the request what steps you've taken to resolve this issue: linking to the doc you mentioned is great, linking to a forum discussion is great, providing more context in the message directly is also very useful. In this case, that's not necessary anymore, but for others, it's probably worth keeping this in mind.

It appears that in this case, that although the bad aspects of the site are mostly gone - Google did not grant the request because the request itself was way too short and basic.

So do your work, show you really mean it, and give Google what they want.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Previous story: Field Trip: Location Search Via Google Glass



08/27/2013 12:52 pm

You gotta be kidding me! This is worth a test to see if no changes and a comprehensive request letter outperforms significant changes and a short letter!

Sean Williams

08/27/2013 01:46 pm

I have submitted long detailed requests and received the same response as shorter ones where I just explain quickly what happened. I have submitted requests for 6 clients only 1 was accepted with all of the long detailed information. I have had 3 succeed with quick shorter requests.


08/27/2013 02:24 pm

"gave the team a wrong impression about the steps you've taken to resolve this issue on the web. Earlier ones were much better in that regard." Treating SEO's like naughty children they are. C'mon!

Nick Ker

08/27/2013 03:26 pm

When doing reconsideration requests, I have been assuming that each one may not be looked at by the same person at Google, and including all the info and documentation as if it was new even if it is not the first request for that particular site. This has worked pretty well in getting penalties lifted, or at least getting a bit more info out of Google's response - like examples of bad links. Think of reconsideration requests like criminal defense law. A lawyer can't just take a defendant into court and have him say "I screwed up and won't do it again" and expect a light sentence. The defendant needs to show that he really does understand what was wrong, and has made some effort to make amends and/or change his ways. The defendant still might not walk with no sentence, but stands a much better chance of the judge going a little easier on him if it seems sincere.


08/27/2013 06:35 pm

key here - "give google what they want". they want backlinks, ok. they want "long and advanced request", ok. They want shares, ok. They want take all online business of the world, people tell ok. When time to stop, dear google? People need to take care own business, not to be volunteers for your company!


08/27/2013 10:38 pm

I sent in a request for reconsideration for a site that I did buy a few (about 10) paid links for. It is been over a year now since I have done any marketing at all for the website. It seemed like a safe time to request reconsideration. Reconsideration was not approved. It seems like a hopeless situation to me. It would be nice to put the domain back into use but in the end it was a good move when I switched the sites domain name and made the original sites url noindex.


08/28/2013 02:01 am

Barry, I'm being a bit pedantic here, but it's still not clear whether a manual link action needs a reconsideration request. That's what you show in the screenshot but that's just the site. I can't see why. The link is penalised, not the site. The link is unlikely to change and so it's outside of a site-owner's control so no need for a reconsideration request. Thoughts?

Barry Schwartz

08/28/2013 02:12 am

All manual actions do require a reconsideration request or waiting for the penalty to expire for the manual action to be revoked.


08/28/2013 03:54 am

Barry, Are you saying that we need to do a manual reconsideration request because someone pointed a bad link at us? The warning specifically says it may be beyond the webmasters control. We don’t want that link reinstated – it *is* a bad link. So what would the reconsideration request achieve?

Fede Einhorn

08/28/2013 03:59 am

I had that message for one of my sites, never received Google's notification, just saw a drop, and finally, after they released the Manual actions report we were able to understand what happened. We cleaned our backlink profile removing most of what we thought were bad links. Sent a reconsideration request and we got a response saying we still needed to do some removal and 2 example links. Those 2, in fact, were not removed nor disavowed. So YES, you MUST clean the profile even if someone build those links against you and YES, you must fill a reconsideration request. It's really a shame that we now have to police what others may do to our site. If even Google recognized that those links aren't in our control then they should only "disavow" them instead of applying a penalty. You can't focus on your business anymore, you now need to focus on what others may do to damage it... incredible.


08/28/2013 04:11 am

Fede, Could you kindly cite your source as to where Google has said this. Nothing I can find categorically supports this ( happy to be proven incorrect ).

Fede Einhorn

08/28/2013 04:15 am

It's a manual penalty, therefore a penalty and it needs a reconsideration request. ALL manual penalties need one. This Cutts video may help:


08/28/2013 04:24 am

Hmmm ...I'll review your YouTube link after posting this, but I'm not sure that's 100% and that's where the question mark comes in. Google seems to agree here : " If you don't control the links pointing to your site, *no action is required on your part.* From Google's perspective, the links already won't count in ranking. However, if possible, you may wish to remove any artificial links to your site and, if you're able to get the artificial links removed, submit a reconsideration request. If we determine that the links to your site are no longer in violation of our guidelines, we’ll revoke the manual action

Fede Einhorn

08/28/2013 04:37 am

It's ultimately up to you... I'm just telling you our experience. We have far better DA, content, links, Website than most of our competitors and yet from one day to the other we lost almost all our SE traffic, this was a January and we just found out it was caused due to a manual penalty "impacting links"... So whether you wish you fix the issue and get it right is up to you. For some reason they still show the "Reconsideration Request" button under that penalty...


08/28/2013 04:38 am

Not sure the YouTube clip answers it. At the very best it's ambiguous if those links are outside your control. See the above quote from Google Webmaster Central


08/28/2013 04:45 am

I can see why you may want to do it. And I acknowledge it's discretionary. I certainly don't see it's a *must*. And therefore, it's a confusing message given the Google Webmaster Central instruction. What concerns me is that there is a consensus that it is required. With all the best intentions it would be good to see Google be clear on this possible confusion.


08/28/2013 05:05 am

I just reviewed the message that John Mueller was responding to. This was specific to a link penalty for a domain: "message notifying us that a manual action was *placed against our domain* "!topic/webmasters/XMXOnum2fcU/discussion This is different from the above, which indeed provides a "site review" button. It still conflicts though with Google's stated requirements for *targeted actions* are , which is what is displayed in the image. I think we need clarification here - just this discussion demonstrates the confusion capable folks are having to work through.

Neeraj Pandey

08/28/2013 05:31 am

Barry, Google says you file reconsideration request but why google does not give a proper documentation format to webmasters so that they could file the reconsideration request because I believe they work hard they do their best still they find the message that they could not do it successfully and therefore it is not revoked . When I am ready to do what google wants its better that google should guide us rather than giving us dilly dally reply.

menachem rosenbaum

08/28/2013 08:18 am

that is really nasty (don't be evil) why should they care about the length of the request as long as the site is to Google standards

Barry Schwartz

08/28/2013 09:55 am

It will communicate just that to google.


08/28/2013 09:56 am

The sooner a competitor takes out Google the better. Probably won't happen but we can all dream!


08/28/2013 10:48 am

We are also now on our 6th request, all have been quite long detailed requests explaining the link profile audit, actions taken to remove the bad links, disavow file for links we are unable to get the webmaster to remove. Explanation of what happened in the first place and actions taken by our company to ensure it never happens again we have now near enough removed ever single link we had to our website good or bad links just to try and get a successful request which has still not happened. What they might as well say to people is we do as we please, we change the rules/guidelines when we like with no regard for work done years ago, if you get a manual penalty you might as well get rid of that domain name if you ever want to rank in search engines again, at the lost of branding for the millions of customers who know the old URL and have bookmarked thew URL as you are not allowed to setup a redirect or the penalty will just transfer to the new domain too.


08/28/2013 05:13 pm

they not need request, they need more horror & evil in webmaster brain.

Gracious Store

08/29/2013 03:42 am

So the reconsideration request have to include every step the person seeking reconsideration has done to resolve the issue for which Google gave the site manual penalty. This in deed a great task and hurdle to go through. So after all said and done it is better to take the pains and manually build links to your site

Shane Addinall

08/29/2013 12:54 pm

I think it's great that Google is taking such a proactive role in improving the practical skills of webmasters from all over the world - not only will you be able to make money online but they will make darn sure you know how to right a proper essay to boot! *rolls eyes*

Yiannis Gedeon

09/12/2013 03:12 pm

Well said John but the penalty can NOT redirect to the new domain if you set 301s. When you get an unatural link manual penalty part of your site is penalised not your whole web site and google took care of those signals way before they sent you the manual penalty warning. I have done 301s and everything went back up to normal.


09/14/2013 09:47 pm

What I dislike about Google is that they are not a fair company and here is the reason why: When normal webmasters (smaller guys) do anything wrong, sometimes through no fault of their own, and get a manual spam notification, you are at the mercy of Google whether you get back in their index or not (with no notification or help, your on your own). No amount of times you ask in webmasters forum will anyone give you any real help. Now what happens when a big site i.e. mozilla, bbc etc get a manual spam warning and they post in the webmasters forum, it is not long before Matt Cutts and all the big guns are out showing their full support, explaining what may have happened. You should see when this happens, it's cringe worthy how "Google" suddenly change their whole approach, talk about a company with morales, talk about a company who treats everyone equal, it's basically racism. Yeah, don't be evil Google, everybody deserves the same support (even though you don't think so), remember without the normal "small" people in the world you would be nothing either. So yeah, they are a biased in this regards. I thankfully run a normal company offline so thankfully Google cannot destroy it when they decide to change something to suit them, but I think it's pathetic how they have such a strong hold on so many people. I actually prefer the Bing website for search, the results are better (imo), and the only Google operated service I now use would be YouTube, but even this is not needed so much now seeing as all my favourite Tv channels are providing on demand repeats, and all that leaves me then on YouTube video is with some spotty teen trying to be funny, or something along those lines, look here's my cat, or look here is part 12 of a 69 part documentary you can watch, sorry not for me.

Spook SEO

01/17/2014 03:28 pm

I am agreed with Reymond one other point in addition all big guns make teammate with Google and decide to destroy small company which doesn’t pay to Google for SEO. It is not fair and evil action from Google.

blog comments powered by Disqus