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.