• thussain

    Currently Google has been sending out notification on failed recon request to wait for few weeks and then file a recon request. Is there a filter at Google that recognizes failed recon? Already, nowadays recon request are taking more than 4 to 6 weeks at-least to get it processed.

    I have also read tweets from few members that they are filing recon request straight, even after getting such notifications? Is it ok to file a recon request straight or is it better to wait few weeks and then file it

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Good question. I’ve been getting requests processed in 2-3 weeks at most, and I’ve never gotten one of those “wait and resubmit” notices. I strongly believe (and this is opinion) that those “wait” notices indicate Google doesn’t think you are doing enough work in between each request. If it’s taking you that long to get requests processed, they probably think you’re spamming them… whether you are or not, it’s Google’s perception that matters here.

    You should only file a recon request after you’ve done everything possible to eliminate all sources of spam and bad links. Otherwise, when you check that box that says “My site does not violate Google’s guidelines”, you’re being disingenuous.

  • dianekulseth

    I somehow got the lucky end of this. I did a first time reconsideration request for a website and got the non-answer which was very frustrating, and was preparing to submit a new reconsideration today, after a few weeks. I went to the Manual Actions menu and discovered that the manual action on the site was removed! I wish that we would’ve received an update, but I’m pleased to see that the request was granted.

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Whoo! I share in your happiness. Seeing that your manual action was removed is one of the best things ever. :)

  • http://www.koozai.com/author/emma-north/ Emma North

    One other reconsideration request tip from me would be to make sure you talk about specific activity in your reconsideration request and detail the action you’ve taken to resolve any example links Google gave you in the manual spam message.

    For example, if Google gives you three example links, list each one as an example in your reconsideration request message and provide details of what you were able to do, whether disavow, remove, nofollow, etc.

    I find this really helps once I’ve been given example links in the manual spam message.

  • http://docsheldon.com/ Doc Sheldon

    Good points, Jenny. I’ve never seen the no-answer response. A person would think that whoever drafts those prefabricated responses would realize that it’s a total waste.

    I think the single most important point is, as you said, that they expect to see an honest effort at removal. In every instance that I’ve heard of where the sender short-circuited the removal request process or tried to deny any wrongdoing, it has resulted in rejection of the recon request. Taking the time to go through link removals is imperative. Then, recognizing that you understand what the problem was and that you will ensure it isn’t repeated is an essential part of the process.

    Taking an extra week or two to do the job right before submitting has kept me from having any recon requests rejected for my last several clean-up projects. That’s given my clients a chance to start their recoveries months earlier than a rejection would have allowed.

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Emma and Doc – great points and thanks for the comments!

  • http://www.lisa-sprachreisen.de/ Elke Greim

    Dear Jenny, thanks for your kind Email. Shall I write the Reconsideation request in english or in the language of the domain country code? For expample I am from Germany. Should I write it in english or german?

  • http://www.hiswebmarketing.com/ Marie Haynes

    Hi Jenny…this is a great article. You raise some really good points! I have been a victim of the Google Docs copy and paste bugginess before. I had one disavow file that had only 200 domains instead of 2000! That was embarrassing.

    There were a few things in your article that I’d like to comment about:

    “While the disavow file is processed by a machine and not a person, the manual reviewer usually does take a look at it.” – According to John Mueller in this video at 19:36 he says that the webspam team doesn’t actually see the disavow file and that it is processed completely automatically. The webspam team obviously has a way to see if domains that should be disavowed are in your file, but I don’t think that they read the file to do that. He also says elsewhere that there is no harm in having duplicates in the file, but that for your own sake it’s best to make it as readable as possible. Still…there’s no harm in having a neat disavow file. :)

    Edit: Here is the video – Start at 19:36 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ydj10_u9wVs&feature=youtu.be

    “Within a few minutes to a few hours after you submit your reconsideration request, you’ll get an automatic email from Google Webmaster Tools that says your request was received” – I have filed hundreds of reconsideration requests and have never received an email after filing. I don’t know why some people do and some don’t, but it isn’t automatic. Perhaps it is because I am not the verified owner of the site? But I don’t recall a site owner telling me they received an email like this. I do have a message in WMT though within seconds to minutes of filing.

    Regarding the “we’ve processed your request” notices, I agree that they are frustrating. Prior to the manual actions tool coming out I had no idea what this message meant. I had some sites though that got this message and then still saw an increase in rankings so it did appear as if a penalty had been lifted. When the manual actions tool came out I have noticed that each time I have received this message the site has been downgraded from a sitewide penalty to a partial match. My gut instinct is that this is what this message means, but I could be wrong.

    “The response says something like, “We won’t review another request for a few weeks.” I think that means that Google basically thinks you’ve been spamming them” – I’m going to disagree here. I think that this is the new standard wording for reconsideration requests now. I have had reconsideration requests where a site owner last filed several months ago and then my team did the work and filed again and we were told to wait 2 weeks before filing again. We definitely weren’t spamming and we definitely put in a huge effort but just didn’t get all the links on our first try. I think that what Google is trying to say here is that it is important to keep looking for more bad links rather than just addressing the 2-3 example links they gave you. They probably had a lot of people just removing or disavowing those 2-3 links and immediately applying again.

    Thanks again for a great article. Hope it was ok to give my opinion on the points above.

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Hi Marie! Thanks so much for taking the time to write your own experiences. I tried to specify where I was stating opinion and where it was fact, but looking back a couple of things were unclear:

    Regarding the person looking at the disavow file – we have seen responses from actual google reviewers in private emails to the domain owner. Sometimes they make reference to a question about the disavow file. So while it is definitely processed automatically, we’ve also seen plenty of times where a Googler has looked at it.

    Regarding the email from GWT, I definitely should have specified that the automatic response is posted in webmaster tools and emailed to the WMT owner(s). If you are just an allowed user with Full or Restricted permissions but not an owner, you won’t get the email. Good point. But we have ALWAYS gotten the autoresponse if the request was received.

    Regarding the “non-answer” answer, the most recent time we saw this was on a partial match to begin with. We never received another response (despite what the Top Contributors on the Webmaster Forum said), but the manual action was removed.

    And regarding the “wait 2 weeks” email, I can confirm that this is definitely not the new standard response. We’ve received responses without this in it as recently as a few days ago. However from what I understand, manual reviewers have a finite number of responses they can use, and presumably this is one of them. Since it’s a person on the other end, there’s probably no definite way to tell what they were thinking when they chose that response.

    Thanks again for your great response!

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Hi Elke, I actually have no idea what the right answer to that is! My instinct would be that English would always be fine, but that if you are writing regarding a country specific domain, it would also be ok to write in that language. For example, I had one client with a .fr domain that wrote his first request in French, and received a response in French. Then when he engaged us, I wrote his next request in English (because I don’t speak French fluently) and the response was received in English. I think that if you were working on a .br (Brazil) domain and wrote the request in Russian, you might have a bit of a delay in response, but ultimately I think the team at Google will find someone who speaks Russian to reply to you. All my opinion, but a good question!

  • http://www.hiswebmarketing.com/ Marie Haynes

    Great points Jenny. I’m stumped about the “non-answer” ones now. I wish Google could just tell us what on earth they are talking about!

    It’s nice to see someone else who is as obsessed about penalty work as I am. I’ve just followed you on Twitter. :)

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Thanks, followed you back. Always nice to meet someone else I can talk shop with. :)

  • Jeff

    Wouldn’t a 410 status code be a little bit better to use than a 404? I’ve read that a 410 is a more permanent version of a page being taken down. A 404 can communicate that a page is not found but could come back, while a 410 is a more firm statement that a page is gone.

    Source: JohnMu here https://productforums.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!category-topic/webmasters/crawling-indexing–ranking/i70G2ZAhLmQ

    Of course you can’t 410/404 homepages or any other really important pages, but it’s great for interior/leaf pages that are causing concern. It would be better to 410 to flag to let Google know the page is no longer part of the domain, and if it had content that you wanted to showcase, push a new page that’s been cleaned up with relevant content.

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    You are correct, 410 is more purposeful, since it can’t really happen by accident the way 404 can. :) But either will work as long as it’s consistent.

  • Matt Haran

    Good post! However, for all failed reconsideration requests since Mid December 2013, Google has been saying to wait a few weeks before submitting a new reconsideration. This is due to the large volume of requests they have been receiving. Your Screen-Shots of failed response message is out-dated. They have since updated their language on their failed reconsideration responses.

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Thanks for your comment, and glad you enjoyed the article. Not everyone gets the same responses all the time. If you have confirmation of your statement from a Googler, please link to the source, I’m sure everyone would benefit from it. If it is your opinion or experience, then that’s great, and we appreciate that too, but please state it as such.

    As a followup to your concern about the timeliness of my screenshots, they were taken in the week prior to this post (I generally have at least a dozen requests in pending status) and based on responses since then, I’m confident they are still current. That doesn’t mean your information is not also current, of course, just that it varies. :)

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Here’s an example of another failed notice I received for a client recently. You can see that they vary a lot:

    Reconsideration request for [site redacted]: Links to your site violate Google’s quality guidelines

    We received a reconsideration request from a site owner for [site redacted].

    We’ve reviewed the links to your site and we still believe that some of them are outside our quality guidelines.

    Sample URLs:

    [example URLs redacted]

    For more specific information about the status of your site, visit the Manual Actions page in Webmaster Tools. From there, you may request reconsideration of your site again.

    If you have additional questions, please visit our Webmaster Help Forum.

  • Sandeep Kumar

    Hi Jenny…

    Thanks for this article as these days i am working on to left the manual penalty from my website.

    Once I read an interview of mutt cutts, he said don’t need to remove the links those were not added by the webmaster, But when I file a recon request, in response i receive a massage that says “we still believe that some of the links are still outside of webmaster guidelines” and show two sample urls and one of them is not added by me, webmaster of that website just copy my article from somewhere as it is with links. Is Google change its mind.

    Refer the links

    Question I didn’t create many of the links I’m seeing. Do I still have to do the work to clean up these links?

    One more thing I download my back links from Google webmaster tools, open site explorer, Majestic SEO tools and link research tools, many urls extracted from last three tools are not present in links extracted from webmaster tools, So is it OK if i take only webmaster tools link in account or i have to work on all extracted links..

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Good questions. The post you referred to is 2 years old, and the thinking has adjusted a lot since then. If I were you, I would start with the GWT links, but augment with Majestic, OSE, Ahrefs, any data source you can get for links. Bing Webmaster Tools is also a great source. You should make efforts to remove the links, and document these in a Google spreadsheet that you share. You can disavow any that don’t respond, but documenting your efforts shows Google that you tried.

    Hope that helps!

  • Sandeep Kumar

    SO how much time should i wait, I received this notification on 20 Jan 2014,

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Hi Sandeep,

    I’m not sure I understand your question. Don’t wait to clean up bad links… just do it. And when you’ve done it, submit a reconsideration request. A manual penalty has to be manually removed.

  • http://www.loriswebs.com/ Lori Eldridge

    It’s a sad commentary on Google software expertise that we have to go to 3rd party sites to get instructions on how to file a reinclusion request and set up Google Docs which is now called Google drive. I got an error when trying to submit a request, with no explanation, and had to surf the net to find out there is a 5,000 character limit.

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    It is definitely frustrating, I agree.