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Reconsideration messages - Is the "no manual penalty" new?

5:38 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I submitted site reconsideration requests for my two impacted websites through WebMaster Tools right after Panda hit back in February, and around 6 weeks later, I got a messages back stating:

"We've processed your reconsideration request"

with no further info. I thought I'd try again last week, and for one site I got back the same message, the other site got,

"No manual spam actions found."

Is the "No manual spam actions found" a new response option?

Does anybody know if the lack of a "No manual spam actions found" mean that there is a manual spam action?

I wonder if the only difference is in the apathy level of the reviewer.
5:54 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is the first I've heard of it.

I've heard of a few web masters actually getting results putting in reconsideration requests. Their sites popped back into the rankings in few days after they make their request.
6:03 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I did some more search after posting here, apparently plenty of other sites have gotten the message, though nobody seems to know whether the alternative is bad.

The site got the "We've processes your reconsideration request" instead isn't out of Google, it's laboring under a major Panda penalty and I thought it couldn't hurt to check.
6:54 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We got that message back in june..

A longer quote "We reviewed your site and found no manual actions by the webspam team that might affect your site's ranking in Google. There's no need to file a reconsideration request for your site, because any ranking issues you may be experiencing are not related to a manual action taken by the webspam team. "

We took it at the face value, so it was useful info

If you didn't get that message I wonder if they point you to different guideline page in the usual supplied link .. or may be not
7:15 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

These slightly more informative messages did begin last spring - and in more recent months the variety of messages is said to have increased, although I haven't seen any of the new ones.

"No manual penalty" is a way of saying "we're not changing your site's rankings because of your reconsideration request." In other words, the algorithm itself gives you your rankings, no factor or action was added manually.

That begs the question a bit, because there are definitely anti-spam elements in the algorithm. The point is, I assume, that if you fix or change those factors the algorithm will increase your rankings automatically and you don't need to file a reconsideration request to make it happen.

In other words, and Matt Cutts has confirmed this, a reconsideration request is only going to have a beneficial result if there was a manual penalty. However, only some manual penalties are lifted immediately after a successful request. For others, the penalty will have a time-release effect, even after the "infraction" is repaired and you submit a reconsideration request.

I do appreciate Google's efforts at more clarity in their webmaster communications, but making complete sense of any particular situation is can still be like trying to solve a Zen koan - and I'm still no good at clapping with just one hand.
7:26 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Tedster: You are correct, the other part of the message , which I omitted from my post, said its all in the algorithm.

However we were happy to hear there was no manual penalty applied as it eliminated one possibility.

However, six months on, I still have no real clue why we still have lost so much traffic, even after extensive changes.
7:54 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

No manual spam actions found.

That's not entirely true. Individual pages are rated by humans working for Google and the bots act on those evaluations. While not technically a manual spam action there is an action because of a manual review.
7:59 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

Also note that any Panda demotions (or the rarer promotions) are considered algorithmic. If your site is only struggling with Panda, you may well get the "no manual action" message.
8:13 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

a manual spam action
I would take this as eliminating this factor from any traffic drop, whilst a manual review may score you down on other factors, or the algo itself may be doing it, at least it eliminates a number of posiibilities.

I understand other replies say other things, for example, you are a "doorway page". Other examples can be seen on the, rather agressive, google forums.
8:13 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

All the bit about "no manual penalty" makes sense and is good news of a sort.

But what I was trying to ask is if the plain:

"We've processed your reconsideration request"

means that there IS a manual penalty.