Eric Enge interviewed Tiffany Oberoi, a software engineer on the Google's Search Quality team, about Google's reconsideration request.
The interview is a must read for all SEOs and anyone who has submitted or is thinking of submitting a reconsideration request.
For me, the three highlights of the interview included:
(1) Spam algorithms are not considered penalties: And just to be clear, we don't really think of spam algorithms as "penalties" - Google's rankings are the result of many algorithms working together to deliver the most relevant results for a particular query and spam algorithms are just a part of that system. In general, when we talk about "penalties" or, more precisely, "manual spam actions", we are referring to cases where our manual spam team stepped in and took action on a site.
(2) Reconsideration requests can uncover deeper issues: While in theory it's possible that spam could be uncovered while processing a reconsideration request, that's not the goal.
(3) Don't submit multiple reconsideration requests: You generally don't need to resubmit. It can take us days to weeks to process requests, and then more time for changes to go into effect, especially if we need to recrawl and reprocess your site. We do send a confirmation after we receive your request, so as long as you got that message then your request is in the queue to be reviewed.
I don't recommend sending multiple reconsideration requests in a very short period of time or submitting reconsideration requests for tons of sites all at once rather than one site at a time. We can take that as a sign of bad faith. But if you haven't received a follow up message saying that your request has been processed after 2-3 months, it would be reasonable to submit another request at that point.
Read the full interview at Stone Temple.
Forum discussion at Sphinn.