Google Discusses Reconsideration Requests
Posted: June 26, 2013 by Alex Chan
Last Friday, Google published a special report dedicated to reconsideration requests on their Webmaster Central blog post. The article is in direct response to questions regarding spam, link building, reconsideration requests, and other issues concerning SEO. The authors of the article, who are part of the Search Quality Team at Google, addressed several questions regarding reconsideration requests from the Google Webmaster Forums.
Reconsideration requests are one of the biggest problems webmasters deal with after violating Google Quality Guidelines. Websites that violate Google's Webmaster Guidelines can receive manual spam action as a form of a penalty. The penalty remains on the site until the webmaster cleans it, and sends a reconsideration request to Google. This request should contain detailed documentation of all steps taken to clean the website. Once filed, the request can take from several days to several weeks to be answered, depending on the number of requests Google received. Reconsideration requests can be filed only for websites that have received manual spam action. Other activities like algorithmic changes do not require a direct response from the webmaster.
The outcome from a filed reconsideration request can go either way. Provided the webmaster cleaned the penalized site well, Google will remove the manual spam action. However, Google will not remove the manual penalty unless they are fully satisfied with the response. In this case, the website will remain penalized until further action is taken.