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Does Google Ignore Reconsideration Requests? Yep!

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search engine spam, released a video for the Webmaster Help Channel which helped to illustrate why so many people who submit reconsideration requests aren’t getting the attention they want.  Matt explained that the web spam team gets 5000 reconsideration requests each week.  That’s over 240,000 requests per year.

In theory, a reconsideration request would require a manual review because if a site was penalized due to an algorithm or an automated process, the reconsideration would trigger the same penalties.  It would require a cost-prohibitive staff for Google to be able to manually reconsider every request they get, and it is not something that Google plans on doing any time soon.

Cutts went on to say that they are in charge of monitoring and tracking over 250 million domains, and due to that fact, they can’t give every single webmaster the personal attention they seem to want.

In addition, since a large percentage of the people asking for reconsideration haven’t done anything to adjust their SEO techniques, and are just looking for a second chance, it doesn’t make sense that many of these sites would get the outcome they want, even if they did get a manual review.

Most marketers and webmasters who do a large percentage of their business through websites are rightfully concerned when they suddenly lose rankings in the Google SERPs.  That doesn’t mean, however, that a reconsideration request is in order.  They should take the time to investigate what the cause of the drop in rankings could be.  Google is constantly tweaking their algorithms, and adjusting the way results are organized.  In addition, there are thousands of competitors who are also working to outrank each other, meaning some movement in the rankings is all but inevitable.

The unfortunate reality is, with so many illegitimate reconsideration requests being processed every day, the few that actually deserve a manual review are going to be ignored just like all the rest.

What do you think Google should do about this?  If they aren’t going to be able to handle the volume of these requests, should they just eliminate the option to submit them at all?  Please, share your thoughts below.


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Pesach Lattin

Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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  1. This kind of arrogance is the perfect reason we need the U.S. government to enforce anti-trust monopoly laws in the Search Industry.

    What Google is saying is no different than the FDA refusing to investigate Salmonella poisoning cases because “so many end up not being true”.

    With only 2 major search engines in the U.S. market (Google and Bing/Yahoo), if the Search engine companies aren’t willing to police themselves, it is time for the government to do it for them or at least limit any 1 search engine provider to only 10% or 15% of the market maximum.

    1. I’m going to have to disagree with you here. There are hundreds of search engine options available to choose from. Just because 99% of people choose either Google or Bing/Yahoo doesn’t mean the other ones aren’t there.

      If you don’t like Google, don’t use them, but I can’t see how you can want the Government to force people to use a search engine they don’t like!


  2. Frankly when your impact on a company can be so harsh as to lock them out of 70% or more of market exposure opportunities then Google should also be able to create an automated re-inclusion system as easily using their same algorithms.

  3. Here’s a quick way to time management Google! If you hand out a manual penalty… Why not include a download of ALL BAD LINKS (in Google’s opinion) in WMT? Relying on third party software to find questionable links or simply downloading the 1k you provide currently in WMT results in multiple link audits and multiple reinclusion requests! I’d be more than happy to go over the list you provide with a fine tooth comb! .02 FWIW

  4. I have no issues with Google being so arrogant.

    They own their market position due to the hard work and investments and risks they have taken.

    They provide a service and it’s so damn good that most of the world is their customer.

    If you don’t like how google plays, get another job.

    I’ve never had a problem in any of my domains EVER because I have never never ever gamed the system – so BS link building. Just good content that is has been created by a human for a human.

    Please leave the Govt out of this – no anti-trust issues here.

  5. Well, surprise surprise. Now what is the real reason…they want you to buy ads of course. Well screw Google…

    we are doing all we can to go around them, and it actually works. Any of my sites are no longer including Google….

    This is what happens when a large company becomes arrogant. They expect the small guy to bend over and do cartwheel..

    LOOK at what is happening in the SERP in some country their add take 75% approx. of page one.

    Look around you guys there are options 🙂

    EX Bing/Yahoo social media and much much more

    1. Any marketer who relies exclusively on Google (or any other search engines) is foolish. Putting all your traffic eggs in the search basket, so to speak, is just asking for disaster.


  6. Good info all round. The problem is that, in my case, i had no prior warning for a site of mine in GWT, and then it suddenly disappeared. Moreover I dont know if it was because of a manual spam report or panda or penguin or something else.
    How will i know? I know it still exists in the index as a site command shows it is still there. Otherwise no pages, not even my home page turn up for keywords i used to rank highly for in google serps!!

    Any ideas please and keep up the good work!

    1. Yeah, this can be very frustrating for many site owners.

      It would be nice if Google were able to provide at least some clue into why a site’s rankings drop. Then the website owner could focus on improving their page(s) in the future.


  7. I think Google have to give some time for these reconsideration requests and give help to webmasters. This will help the webmaster to understand where they did mistakes.

  8. All the spammy links ,exchanged links and paid links need to be removed before to ask for a request to Google SPAM team… and maybe so the webmaster will have a chance…

What's your opinion?