What should be included in a proper reconsideration request?
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What should be included in a proper reconsideration request?

Hello. We have a fun question from
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Benson Senator asks, “Could
you please give details on what should be included in
a proper reconsideration request?” Fantastic question. We have done a video
about this. I think Brian White and a web
spam analyst, Rachel, also had given their perspective. But I’ll give you a very high
level view and then maybe a few things to chew on
and think about. At a very high level view, the
goal of your reconsideration request is, number one, to tell
Google you’ve stopped whatever violations of the
quality guidelines were happening– paid links,
cloaking, scraping, doorways. Whatever it was, you need to
make a clear and compelling case that that has
actually stopped. That behavior no longer is going
on and that you’ve cured that as much as possible. So if you were doing paid links,
you’ve gotten as many of those links pulled down
as you possibly can. The second aspect of a
reconsideration request is to basically give us a good
faith assurance that it won’t happen again. You don’t want to say, oh, well,
this site looks like it’s reformed. OK. We’re going to lift this
manual action. And then they immediately go
back to spamming or doing their old tricks. So what you want to do is step
into Google’s shoes and say, OK, what would best convince
Google that we’ve turned the corner and that this behavior
has stopped, and that we’ve cured whatever was going
on, and it’s not going to happen again? So great things to include– things like details of the sorts
of sites that you were contacting. If you were removing
links, for example. If you used an SCO and they
really just shot you in the foot because they were doing all
sorts of unethical things, that’s the sort of thing
where I would give us details about that. Tell us about the link
network or the SCO or that sort of stuff. If it was someone in-house,
what have you done to make sure that it doesn’t
happen again? I was talking to a large
company who had done a reconsideration request. And they were talking about
how they put a training program in place so that future
people would understand these were the violations of
our quality guidelines, whereas these behaviors
were OK. Basically, the more stuff you
can do to give that kind of clear, compelling evidence, the
easier it is for Google to make an assessment. Ideally, it’s best if you
include as much information as possible, actually, within the
reconsideration request. We tend to be a little bit leery
of if you’re inserting hyperlinks that go off
to random places. If we can’t know where they’re
going to go, then we have to think about is someone going to
try to give us malware or something like that? You can include links to
a Google Doc or Google Spreadsheet if you want to
show sites that you’ve contacted because it is possible
for us to view those sorts of docs without worrying
about what sort of things might be included or revealing
the identity of the person who is looking at the
reconsideration request. But just like any time when
you’re trying to convince somebody, you want to make sure
that you show that you have taken a lot of effort, that
you have tried to clean things up, and that basically
it won’t happen again. And the more we can suss out
and try to assess whether you’re now of that mindset where
you’re not just going to try to do another fly-by-night
trick or whether things will lapse again, the easier it
is for Google to say, OK. It looks like things are
in pretty good shape. So let’s go ahead and grant that
reconsideration request.


  • Brendon Schenecker

    Thanks for answering my question Matt! under my alias name Benson Senator. We did finally get out of our penalty after 9 months. I have to say we did what you said many times but it finally worked! Thanks!

  • John Svenson

    Dear Matt,
    Thanks for this fantastic clarification!
    You must really believe that we have all big SEO departments in our companies. I truely understand that from a Google point of view its hard to believe that there is still small business struggling for attention on the internet. Especially after you made clear that big brands are more likely to rank – because of the higher trust factor 🙂

  • John Svenson

    I tried to get my site reconsidered already three times without success. All I get is blablabla robot messages without any information where exactly the problem is.
    I mean sure, you are the information company but which links are harming my reputation is strictly confidential. Do you really believe a top SEO pro would send you his link network? Very funny! And small sites like us are struggling to get in touch with big master G.

  • harold parker

    It really helped me out with the wedding business. I would really like a few pointers on improving my site I'm looking to hire a new Seo person or company If anyone can look at my page I'd REALLY appreciate it

  • Spook SEO

    Great video Matt. I agree with including in your reconsideration form the type of websites that you or your webmaster has connected with. This puts things on a better perspective

  • Seamus McKenna

    I have never engaged in any of the dodgy practices mentioned in this video but whenever someone downloads something from my site using Google Chrome they get a message which says that the file “is not commonly downloaded and could be dangerous”. They are then invited to discard it. This is a terrible slander. If I only distribute a tiny number of files I am surely entitled to be able to do so without having my business maligned.

    What can I do?

  • Xue Li

    They accused my site for uploading quality contents taken from other sites and stopped my monetization … really funny because all those videos were edited by my friends and THEY HAD GIVEN ME PERMISSION TO UPLOAD THEM To youtube , it is really a win win situation we creators get to share our creativity to much larger population and youtube also get quality uploads from us, yet now they are accusing me for duplication/reusing contents from other sites…. and those video sites are mostly based in China and Japan which foreigners typically don't even know about.

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