Common FAQs about Filing a Reconsideration Request

In 2012, Google rolled out manual spam action to prevent spam in the search results. The penalty may affect your entire site (site-wide matches) or some links on your site (partial matches).

When this happens, it can affect your ranking in search engines and you need to make changes to your site such as removing spammy back links using Google’s disavow link tool.

It’s only after this that you can send a reconsideration request to Google to revoke the penalty. Here are frequently asked questions related to filing the reconsideration request.

When can I file a reconsideration request?

Google may penalize your site for violating the Google Quality Guidelines. The penalty comes in form of a manual spam action.  You can learn about the violation through a notification in the Google Webmaster Tools or an SEO specialist.

To get the penalty revoked, ensure that your site no more violates the quality guidelines. After this, you should then file a reconsideration request.

Can I file the reconsideration request after an algorithm change affects my site?

Reconsideration requests apply to those sites affected by manual spam actions. If an algorithmic change affects your site but there’s no manual spam action to be revoked, there’s no need to submit a reconsideration request.

How do I evaluate the quality of website’s back links?

Start by checking out the Google Webmaster Tools and specifically, the section on links to your site. You’ll find a good number of your website’s inbound links.

You can then look at any patterns that bring out general issues worth resolving. For instance, look out for spammy blog comments, autogenerated text ads or forum posts with links that may pass page rank. This could be unnatural links that would go against Google’s quality guidelines.

How do I remove bad back links?

Start by identifying the poor links and then endeavor to get them nofollowed or removed. You can then deal with the other unnatural back links using the disavow links tool but be careful because incorrect use of this tool could harm your site’s performance.

How much information should I provide?

You should provide detailed documentation that explains the specific changes you made. You should also remember to promise not repeat this in future. If you include a link to any shared document, ensure anyone with that link can access the document.

What is the possible outcome?

After sending a reconsideration request, you’ll get an automated confirmation in the GWT. After your request is processed, you’ll receive another message on the outcome of your request.

Usually, the message may say that the penalty has been revoked or your website still violates the quality guidelines.