Google Penalty

Just a few weeks ago Google had made a small change onto the way they accept reconsideration requests. For those that don’t know, reconsideration requests are submitted in the hopes that a lift will be granted for the offending website that has been penalised as a result of excessive unnatural links.

The change involves Google’s shift from accepting reconsideration requests from all websites to now only accepting requests from webmasters who have actually received manual penalisation notices against their websites. This means that if your site has been penalised as a result of an algorithmic update, you will not be able to submit a reconsideration request. Instead, what you will see upon trying to enter the reconsideration request page is the following message:

Google Manual Webspam Actions

If no manual webspam actions have been found then you will not be able to submit a request.

On the other hand, if you suspect your site has been affected by an algorithmic update (Panda or Penguin) and you didn’t receive a manual notice, then I’d recommend you take the following steps in hopes of recovering.

Penguin Recovery:

  • Run your preferred backlink explorer and identify all low-quality or unnatural links. Some tools like CognitiveSEO have built in functions to filter out suspicious links, but as we’ve realised there’s no better way at identifying unwanted links than manually doing it ourselves
  • Reach out to the webmasters who have a link on their website to yours which you want taken down
  • Request they have the link taken down in efforts to have your backlink profile cleaned
  • Upon satisfactory completion, wait for your website to be re-crawled

Option 2 would be to:

  • Run your preferred backlink explorer and identify all low-quality or unnatural links
  • Construct a simple .txt file and list down all suspected links line by line.
  • Submit the file through Google’s Disavow Tool.
  • Once you’re happy with your submission, wait for your website to be re-crawled.

The disavow process is a lengthy process and sometimes may take up to 3 weeks or more.

Panda Recovery:

Unlike Penguin we won’t need to use any specialised tools. What we do need is a good set of problem solving skills. Factors to keep in mind in hopes of being lifted from a Panda penalty include:

  • Addition of content to pages lacking in substantial text content
  • Addition of relevant and high quality content linking out to trusted and authority sources
  • Removal or adjustments of pages with duplicate content
  • Removal of links which are linking out to low-quality or spammy neighbours
  • Minimise website ads to ensure user-experience is kept healthy

After you’ve fixed all issues, wait for your pages to be re-crawled.

For websites which were affected and were sent a manual penalty notices, it’s important to document all steps taken in attempting to rectify the issue and have it appropriately sent through the reconsideration request tool. The image below illustrates exactly how a manual penalisation notice would look like.

Google Manual Actions

You can use this link here to check whether your website has received any manual penalisation notices.

To reinforce everything I’ve mentioned, Google staff, John Mueller has even come forth to state:

When a site is algorithmically found to have been compromised, a reconsideration request is unnecessary — it’ll be updated automatically as we recrawl & reindex the content from there, and see that it’s no longer compromised. The normal crawling & indexing can take a bit of time, so unfortunately you’ll need to be a bit patient. In cases where the site was manually found to be compromised, you can still submit a reconsideration request to have it reviewed. You’ll see the difference by checking the manual action feature in Webmaster Tools. We’re looking into ways to make this process a bit clearer, more straightforward & consistent, I realize it’s a bit confusing at the moment.

For business owners who are currently going through the process of recovery and aren’t sure of what to do, make sure to contact us today and we’ll be more than happy to provide some free insights and a roadmap to recovery.

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