Google: Write A Great Reconsideration Request, Get Back In Fast Like Thumbtack

You can go against Google's guidelines for years, get caught and then have the penalty reversed in less than a week.

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Last week, Google penalized Thumbtack, a Google Capital-funded company, for unnatural links and the penalty was reversed in less than a week.

SEOs and webmasters are asking, how did they get a penalty reversed that fast? Many said on average that it takes several weeks to months for a manual action to be reversed. Some suspect that Google may have given Thumbtack special treatment because they are funded by an arm of Google.

In a video hangout yesterday at the 24-minute mark, Google’s John Mueller said that Google does not give large sites, popular sites or sites Google funds preferential treatment. “It is not the case that even the web spam team has this kind of background information on what kind of site it is, how big it is, who owns the site, who has invested in the site,” Mueller said.

He said that websites that get manual actions can get out really fast if they do a “fantastic job of cleaning these things up,” and then submit a “great” reconsideration request. Mueller said a great reconsideration request “is really to the point, where you tell us exactly what you’ve been doing, you give us information showing that you’ve completely cleaned up this issue.”

So this implies that, despite going directly against Google’s guidelines for years, if you get a manual action and take the necessary steps, the penalty can be reversed in less than a week. Google is saying it doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, how bad the penalty necessarily is — if you clean it up and submit a detailed reconsideration request, you can be penalty free quickly.

I know many SEOs who would argue with this, but this is what Google said.

Here is the video embed at the start time:

You can read the full transcript over here.

About the author

Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz is a technologist and a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics.

In 2019, Barry was awarded the Outstanding Community Services Award from Search Engine Land, in 2018 he was awarded the US Search Awards the "US Search Personality Of The Year," you can learn more over here and in 2023 he was listed as a top 50 most influential PPCer by Marketing O'Clock.

Barry can be followed on X here and you can learn more about Barry Schwartz over here or on her personal site.

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