One-Line Google Reconsideration Request Worked

Jan 13, 2014 • 8:48 am | comments (19) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster ToolsA webmaster at WebmasterWorld claimed that while some reconsideration requests he submit take five or more times, with tons of details sent to Google - one he sent just recently went through with a one-line request.

The request read:

We managed to clean up all our backlinks and we have updated the disavow list. Please remove our manual penalty. Many thanks!

Google approved it and responded the reconsideration request was accepted and the penalty was removed.

What is even more amazing is that they didn't even contact any webmaster to remove a link. They just uploaded a disavow file.

We know Google said they want to see you manually removing links or may not approve your disavow and reconsideration request.

The thing is, it depends on which Google representative and what time and what mood they are in, is reviewing you reconsideration request.

Do lazy reconsideration requests work for you?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Only 15% Say The Disavow Tool Benefits Their Rankings



01/13/2014 01:56 pm

And those who are submitting lots of link report sharing google docs, about link removal? The Penalty Still Remains?

Marie Haynes

01/13/2014 01:57 pm

I find it interesting that several people now are saying that they were able to get manual penalties removed without actually removing links when Google has said many times that disavowing alone is not enough. I wonder if perhaps these sites have had a large number of spam links that were on domains that have died and therefore, when the webspam team looks, they can see that the link count is down significantly and if the disavow is thorough then they pass them. I think that link removals are silly. If you don't control the sites linking to you, then you are spending hours and hours of wasted time (yours and other site owners) sending out emails and documenting efforts. And, in most cases, only a small percentage of links come down. It's not like Google's requirement to remove links is actually cleaning up the web. I also find it interesting that the latest change in their standard wording for failed requests states that simply disavowing links is not enough and that they need to see a significant effort has been made in removing links. Are they just saying that when it's not true?


01/13/2014 02:18 pm

Google might not be cleaning up the web but they are punishing the web master for their bad behavior. Google are Judge, Jury and Executioner. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely :) It´s been along time since people could honestly associate google with their tagline ..."do no evil". If anything, it is now a point of mild amusement.

Fede Einhorn

01/13/2014 02:37 pm

Same happened for me too. Got a manual penalty. Tried twice to contact webmasters, created spreadsheets and sent all the results and document access with the reconsideration request. Both times rejected. Spent lots of $$ removing links + easily 3 month. Last attempt: Disavowed everything that looked at least 1% suspicious, even links from my own personal blog, a couple lines reconsideration and just like that, penalty revoked. Still don't see any change after 2 month... but I'm not hopeless... even considering that is Google... "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Dave Fogel

01/13/2014 08:01 pm

This is pretty ridiculous. I did everything they ask for and our penalty is still there. I just disavowed a TON of links and tried link removal and send another detailed request. Let's hope this one gets approved. I agree though that link removal is silly. If google is already not counting the links, why are we bothering to remove them? On top of that, BING and Yahoo still keyword rich links. So frustrating.

Alexander Hemedinger

01/13/2014 10:36 pm

I feel your pain, were in the same boat right now internally in our business......

Alexander Hemedinger

01/13/2014 10:37 pm

Damn that sucks man! It looks like we have to disavow anything that isn't a Google product. :)

Alex Polonsky

01/13/2014 11:25 pm

I wonder if you can get a reconsideration approved with just two words... "or else!" :)

Richard Merry

01/14/2014 12:28 pm

Dave, is it just the case that you didn’t remove or disavow the right links? I tried to remove links but impossible so I sent a disavow in. Google came back quite quickly (back 10 days later) giving me examples (article directories) of sites that still didn’t meet their guidelines. We’ve now gone through this process again removing / disavowing these other sites and we are hoping and confident for a penalty lift. If not we will review links again and continue. But we do feel Google are working with us.

Richard Merry

01/14/2014 12:31 pm

Interesting thought Zach, thought the same :)

Richard Merry

01/14/2014 12:37 pm

I do feel Google realises they made a mess during all the changes in 2012 that affected a lot innocent businesses and are now putting better systems in place to finally work with web masters to meet their guidelines.

Dave Fogel

01/14/2014 12:41 pm

They actually came back with links I never even saw before. We had to run reports from several sources. Special thanks to Sha @rmoov for that. I pretty much removed 95% of the links this time. We will see what happens.

Patti Paz

01/14/2014 02:18 pm

It's called penitence! Nothing more - Nothing less!!

Simon Sedorenko

01/14/2014 03:19 pm

The only thing Google cares about is whether or not ALL (or at least the majority) of bad links have been removed/nofollowed either manually, or by way of the disavow tool. With so many people submitting reconsideration requests daily, do you really think someone is manually reading the messages and checking spreadsheets to see what's been done? Wake up. That's what algorithms are for. They would have a list of all the backlinks that point to your site that they deem bad. Once you submit your reconsideration request they would simply cross reference those bad links against an updated back link crawl and disavow check. If all the bad links match up as removed, nofollowed, or disavowed then the penalty would be removed. It would be an in-house program like Screaming Frog or Xenu that at the end says this site passes the backlink check, manual penalty lifted (or not). Send email notification to site owner of outcome. There is no way the call center staff in India or anywhere else for that matter would be given the authority to 'turn off' manual penalties based on a reconsideration request and spreadsheet of 'what's' been done. Think about the money that could be made under the table if people had this power. The casino companies would be lining up to throw money at people to remove penalties.


01/14/2014 04:45 pm

Seen this from more than a few people who couldn't find all the links to their site. Ahrefs is a very helpful tool here.


01/14/2014 04:50 pm

Is that exactly the same as any other corporate website? They choose what to display on their website, exactly like every other company does. Not sure how that is evil. The evil is the people who tried to persuade people that they could make a safe and reliable income only off organic results, which Google have been warning people not to do for years. Google isn't there to be an advertisement for businesses, the fact that a lot of businesses get a lot of free advertising from them is inconsequential. Of course when those businesses lose the free advertising they cry, despite the fact they never had any right to it anyway. Just because you take something for granted, doesn't mean you have a right to it.

Emma North

01/16/2014 02:50 pm

This doesn't surprise me a great deal; they must get so many Reconsideration Requests these days that it's probably quite refreshing when someone gets straight to the point! That said, I've had great successes with some fairly detailed request messages that have included multiple examples, explanations, etc. so I do think it can be luck of the draw. Almost certainly has a lot to do with which one of the Webspam Team picks up the message!

Jacques Bouchard

01/16/2014 08:44 pm

Removing the links helps with OTHER search engines too, I'd imagine. Google's not the only one.


01/22/2014 06:58 pm

I have been trying since January 20, 2014 to submit a Reconsideration Request for a manual penalty, but every time I hit the 'Request a Review' button, I receive the Google "ooops" message. I've tried three different browsers to no avail. Is anyone else experiencing this? No workaround. No way to contact Google. Someone at the big G must realize that requests have stopped coming in. JDF

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