Sep 16, 2014 1:03:00 PM

SEO News: Google Reconsideration Request Tips From #GoogleRecon

Posted by Jeanine Krzyzanowski

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Earlier this month Google Webmaster’s Google+ account produced a series of informational posts on Google’s reconsideration request process called #GoogleRecon.

What is the reconsideration request process?

Websites go must through the reconsideration request process after receiving a manual Google penalty for violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

How do I know if my site has received a Google Penalty?


1.) If you believe your site has received a manual Google penalty:

  • Login to your webmaster tools account

  • Click "Search Traffic"

  • Click on "Manual Actions" and see if there is a message

Google recommends that “If you see that your site has a manual action, read the messages carefully before addressing the issues.”


How do I figure out why Google has taken manual action against my site?


2.) Google offers several resources to figure out specifically what on your website is violating Google’s Guidelines and how the penalty is affecting your site.

For more information on manual actions Google asks Webmasters to:

  • Read about Manual Actions in the Help Center.

  • Watch YouTube videos on reconsideration requests.

  • Ask for help in the Help Forum.

  • Get live help in an Office Hour Hangout (posted on their Google+ page)

How do I start a successful reconsideration request?


3.) The first step to a successful reconsideration request is the removal of a “significant percentage of inorganic links.” If you manage to get a backlink removed Google points out that users must truly remove the link instead of simply adding it to the “disavow file,” explaining “Simply disavowing links will not be enough to make a reconsideration request successful.”

To learn more about Google’s disavow links tool you can click here.

What if my website has been hacked?


4.) Google points out that even a seemingly clean page can include content hackers inject that only search engines can easily see. Using the Fetch as Googlebot Webmaster tools shows how your page looks to Google’s website crawler, Googlebot and allows you to identify and remove hacked content.

I’m ready to submit my report, what now?


5.) To increase the chances of your request being accepted after you’ve addressed all of the issues plaguing your website Google asks that you include “helpful documentation” highlighting your efforts and all of the changes you’ve made. Though Google warns that, “Longer documentation is not necessarily better documentation,” and provides a list to help identify what type of information they are looking for:

  • “For linking issues: include a list of links you have removed, disavowed or nofollowed (based on the issue)
  • For hacked issues: add examples of injected or cloaked URLs that are now clean or return 404
  • For content issues: explain changes you made to provide significant value for your users”

Google also informs users that “simply submitting a blank or empty site will not lead to a successful reconsideration request,” and asks that webmasters be patient following the submission of reconsideration requests as processing generally takes a few weeks.

After identifying whatever has caused your website to suffer a manual Google penalty the first step is the often daunting task of link removal. To ensure your reconsideration request process goes smoothly, you might want to consider taking a look at our



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