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Reconsideration Request has been processed...now what?.



12:50 pm on Aug 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi all,

I made a bunch of changes to my site at the start of June and by the 20th, I was hit with some kind of penalty and seen a huge hit in traffic from Google (-80% in total).

The changes I made were varied and all aimed at cleaning up my site and to prevent PR bleeding. Anyway; I wasn't able to figure out why I'd been hit so I reverted back to the pre-penalty code and submitted a reconsideration request via GWT.

A few weeks later, I get the following...

We've processed your reconsideration request for http://mywebsite.tld/ August 17, 2009

We received a request from a site owner to reconsider how we index the following site: http:/mywebsite.tld/.
We've now reviewed your site. When we review a site, we check to see if it's in violation of our Webmaster Guidelines. If we don't find any problems, we'll reconsider our indexing of your site. If your site still doesn't appear in our search results, check our Help Center for steps you can take.

Has anyone been in the same situation? If so, how long did it take for things to return to normal?

I so wish Google would provide a little more information to publishers with regards to penalties, although I appreciate this would also create other problems. I'm pretty sure that I somehow made a change that incorrectly triggered a penalty.

[edited by: tedster at 5:43 pm (utc) on Aug. 20, 2009]
[edit reason] de-link the urls [/edit]

Receptional Andy

8:15 pm on Aug 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you're concerned about organic search performance, then you need to be monitoring your site's performance on search engines you care about regularly, anyway. You shouldn't need Google to tell you if a penalty has been lifted.

In terms of specific times, it's going to depend on your particular website. 2-3 days, weeks or months is about as accurate as I could be confident about ;)


12:43 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Obviously I've been monitoring my organic traffic for years.

What I meant was that I wish Google would provide more information on why you receive these penalties in the first place - I genuinely believe that the changes I made shouldn't have caused a penalty.


1:44 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I got the same message after a reinclusion request about a month ago. Still no changes as yet.

The filter I triggered, which put my entire site in the 40+ rankings, occured in March. So I'm hoping it will be lifted in September after approx. six months - I heard somewhere that forgiven sites are restored in monthly batches.


2:22 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Personally, although we can all guess away for a lifetime, if your penalty is lifted, you will be back indexed immediately. Like turning on a light switch. Almost God like. If the penalty is lifted, why would they continue to punish you? They won't. In my instance, when I get that message, and check to see if my site in re-indexed that day or the following day, if it's not there, then the penalty remains.

I hear your overall problem with the process. I can honestly say, that well, it's very discouraging. Maybe back in the day Google didn't need to be as considerate to webmasters when dishing out penalties. However, since they ultimately now hold the keys to the internet, they should be a bit more reasonable in terms of communications. They have improved though. Up until recently, you wouldn't get a "your website has been reviewed" message. You would sit and wait without knowing anything. So in some respect it's better now. On the cynical side, I think they may have added this new feature recently because they knew that they would be increasing penalties substantially in the coming months because of changes to algo etc. Perhaps they did it to be nice, but me thinks it was partially done because of increasing penalized sites.

BTW, if people notice their sites going up and down like a yo-yo, did you ever stop to think that it's because a lot of site are wiped off Google thanks to penalties? Just a thought. I'm sure there are a few smiling faces everytime their competitor gets hammered and thrown into jail.


2:58 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

In general, I agree - if your reconsideration request fell on receptive eyes, you usually see something change within days, even if it's not back to the exact same heights you that fell from. However, some types of penalties are "time released" on a given date -- and some types are only removed in stages.

simple simon

6:41 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I started seeing many more pages indexed using site: www.domain.com command after only a few days of the reinclusion request being processed. Increase in number of indexed pages had been stagnant before the reinclusion request. WMT also showed increase in spider activity.

simple simon

6:50 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I should have added to my note that my reinclusion request provided detailed and specific explanations of how the domain may have historically violated Googles guidelines and indicated that the site had recently been rebuilt from scratch. I remember that the Google reinclusion video suggests that you mention any specific changes that you have made to your site to meet the guidelines - rather than a general 'my site was banned, please reinclude me'.


8:39 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yeah, I too was completely honest in my re-inclusion request and specified all dates of recent changes and the dates I'd reverted back.

I don't want to sound too pessimistic, but I get the impression that no-one looks at these requests anyway as the whole process is automated.

How frustrating! Grrrr.


5:13 pm on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I get the impression that no-one looks at these requests

Over the past two months I've been involved with more reconsideration requests than should have to be - but I never got that sense.

In this video: Tips on requesting reconsideration [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com], Rachel Searles and Brian White of Google's search quality team state explicitly that every request IS read. And in my experience, that seems to be the case.


5:54 am on Aug 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think the reconsideration team consider what penalty you have caused and the date when the penalty was issued before taking out of the penalty box.

My impression is your site needs to serve time before being let out by the reconsideration team. However, if you know exactly what the issue is, reversing this yourself is a much quicker process. My theory holds some merit I think since some penalties seem to be time related.


9:38 pm on Aug 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I had a client site be penalized for a major search term for their business sector. Their business dropped to almost zero. I finally had the client clean up the site and rid it of keyword stuffing. I applied to Google for reconsideration. Four days later, I received the notice that they have reviewed the site. It's only been one day, but the site is not appearing for the search term. Hopefully it will be back soon. I wish there were a way to actually know what the penalty is and when they will reinclude.


12:06 am on Aug 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

If you end up needing some more ideas about causes for penalties, check out the discussions in our July SERP changes thread [webmasterworld.com]. That was a month of many sudden penalties and many of those were reversed rather quickly after reconsideration requests. The thread has some good detail about what different webmasters did.


5:55 pm on Aug 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Today, four days after the notice that the review had taken place, the site turned up in Google for the main search term but at the top of page 4 (31st) -- Not where I wanted to be as we were always on page 1 or two, but at least we are back. I checked Yahoo and Bing and we are on page 1 #4 for the same term, so I think my optimization works for them, although the traffic coming from them is a pittance in comparison to what comes from Google.


3:21 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm pleased to learn that Google are now sending out messages in response to reconsideration requests. However, from what I can tell, the message is merely stating that the request has been considered, but doesn't actually tell you whether you've done enough or not, and/or when a site can be expected to re-appear. It would be really nice if Google could at least give this information to help webmasters along.

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