|Google Reconsideration Requests - New Clarity|
The area of Reconsideration Requests has become increasingly muddy, especially because Google now assesses some spam penalties by algorithm, and only manual penalties will be lifted through a Reconsideration Request. Unfortunately, there's no certain knowledge about what kind of spam penalty may have hit a website... so what's a webmaster to do?
Enter Google's Tiffany Oberoi who gave Eric Enge a very helpful interview last week. Nothing here is 100% new, but it is more clearly expressed than the piecemeal hodgepodge we'e had to go on to date. For example:
|...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... |
It can take us days to weeks to process [reconsideration] 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.
Another bit of clarification I'd like to call out from the interview concerns Panda and reconsideration requests:
|Eric Enge: As a related question, is a reconsideration request helpful after addressing possible panda issues? |
Tiffany Oberoi: Panda is an algorithmic ranking change targeted at promoting high quality sites over low quality sites. Because reconsideration requests will not change the way an algorithm sees your site, a reconsideration request won't help in this case. We recommend focusing your efforts on improving your site so that it will be classified as high quality in the next Panda update. Amit Singhal had some great tips for how to improve your site in this post from Google's Webmaster Central Blog [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]
|Tiffany Oberoi: Panda is an algorithmic ranking change targeted at promoting high quality sites over low quality sites. Because reconsideration requests will not change the way an algorithm sees your site, a reconsideration request won't help in this case. |
If they ever get it right that is. Crap - complete crap - is showing higher than many quality content pages I have... and for some reason my site pages got nixed further in some 'algorithm' change as I had been doing nothing but adding more content.
I made a reconsideration request (months ago, before the recent downfall in my site rankings) and was impressed at Google's response time, but gave me little feedback except that my site was not being targeted by their spam team.
Am ignoring it (the recent downturn that is slowly going back up) for now as it is pretty obvious that Google has a LONG way to go in trying to weed out crap in favor of getting high-quality content up top in its search results. Taking the high road and only focusing on getting more high-quality content pages up, plus keep-up with info from sites like this.
|...targeted at promoting high quality sites over low quality sites. |
Then Mr Panda needs to work on his throwing arm 'cos he's a flippin' lousy shot.
Ho hum, I suppose she at least confirmed what we suspected: that Panda is run periodically (monthly?) and each run is a reassessment and new chance to break free from his/her furry mitts.
|...each run is a reassessment and new chance to break free from his/her furry mitts. |
Or get caught in the glove! I didn't get snagged until recently, after all the hoopla had died down and many were slowly recovering. Though for someone 'newish' who needs to get up to speed on some pretty complicated issues its been a great learning experience and even though my site wasn't affected at first, I used all the great feedback to re-evaluate and correct anything that was being identified as 'bad' (thin pages, colors on homepage, adsense ad placement, etc. etc.).
I think the Google bot 'screw'ups' (lowering the ranking of a high-quality site inadvertently)should be ignored to a certain extent... if you are pretty sure it was nothing on your end and your site is above par.
Of course always look towards improving, but getting neurotic about what is proving to be a ridiculously inept evaluation system seems time wasting and counter-productive. At least that thinking is keeping me sane at the moment... :)
After reading the interview, I just have one question:
For sites that are caught by Panda, their rankings will be more-or-less "locked in place" until there is a Panda update?
And if that is so, how many Panda updates have their been, and how often? We are at Panda 2.3 now, right?
Info on number of Panda updates from article listed above on Google's Webmaster Central Blog:
"Panda was just one of roughly 500 search improvements we expect to roll out to search this year. In fact, since we launched Panda, we've rolled out over a dozen additional tweaks to our ranking algorithms..."
@South that comment from Google is complete and utter rubbish. It's more like excuse making imo. Sure they roll out hundreds and or thousands of updates during the year. Okay whatever. The point is whatever they have done in the past was squat if you compare to Panda. Nothing else really matters. Google trying to say geez what's the big deal here? Panda is just like one of the thousands of updates we making during the year. Yeah right! This forum bubbles with comments about algo changes such as we've seen with Panda. Not a snowballs chance in hell.
But to this thread, great post and link. Good points about the fact that Google Panda will sniff your site again and allow you back in. It's also helpful to read that it's a waste of time to submit reconsideration requests for Panda. What's funny though, is what if every affected webmaster clicked on a reconsideration request over the next week or two? Is that a way of us communicating? The more light Google is willing to shed on the reconsideration process the better and happier I would be. It's an awful hole I can tell you that.
Tesdter, thanks for trying to clarify the issue, but this doesn't change alot. One point that has always been the thorn in the side of any legitimate business and is the reason likely for more than 75% of the reinclusion requests in my opinion:
|However, webmasters don't generally know if it's an algorithmic or manual action, so the most important thing is to clean up the spam violation and submit a reconsideration request to be sure. |
This won't charge until Google significantly addresses and actually makes real, logical sense of that statement in the form of action.
[edited by: tedster at 2:08 pm (utc) on Aug 5, 2011]
[edit reason] fix character set issue [/edit]
I agree with you CainIV. Google may think they are communicating well (and they are doing better than any other search engine ever did) but it's still miles away from really doing the job for most webmasters.
they removed one of my websites recently (i have a thread about that as well).
i asked for reconsideration. they replied with a generic response and told me to see the webmaster guidelines.
|they removed one of my websites recently (i have a thread about that as well). |
and you have no idea why? can you post the link to the thread about this... every little bit of 'info' helps and this situation is one I should read about.
thanks much, Molly
Here's a link to dhaliwal's other thread: