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By: Bob Sakayama
2009-12-24 20:01:58
This post was originally created 24 December 2009 and released on 6 July 2010)

We realize that most readers, even some of the most robust seo gurus out there, have never filed a reconsideration request. By contrast, we file several reconsideration requests every month on behalf of penalized clients, and we've evolved the process enough to make some valuable suggestions to anyone doing this for the first time.

Keep it short
Remember that someone at Google has to read your request. Long requests work against them being read. These guys see thousands of these requests - keep that in mind. Short & to the point works much better than detailed and rambling.

Discuss the pain
Always discuss the negative consequences of the penalty to your business. Whether it's monetary, status, traffic or conversions, the pain needs to be known, so don't be shy about letting Google know how much pain they are inflicting, whatever form it takes.

Don't be confrontational
Start out assuming it's your fault. Granted, there are times when it is Google's mistake, but that is extremely rare. Save the anger for something else - this requires a problem solving approach where you can assume that you probably created the problem but just don't realize it yet.

Read the guidelines
If you vetted your site, you can emphasize in your request that you have:
- no paid links inbound or outbound.
- no hidden text or hidden links.
- no cloaking or sneaky redirects.
- no automated queries to Google.
- no use of irrelevant words.
- no duplicate content (multiple pages, subdomains, or domains).
- no "doorway" pages created just for search engines.
- no pages with malicious intent (malware, phishing, trojans, etc.).
- no affiliate programs.
- no other "cookie cutter" approaches with little or no original content.

State your intention to be compliant
"We believe this site is now compliant with Google's best practices guidelines and it is our intent to remain compliant going forward."

Be patient
This deserves mentioning, because many people think this process is quick. It can be. But it can also take a while and it's more often than not going to take longer than you want. Also, we've learned that even when Google sends you the message via WMT that they've reviewed your site, it can still take a week from that notice to see results in the search. Many of clients, upon seeing both that notice and no change in their ranks, assume that the penalty was NOT lifted and begin doing more work. We recommend that you give them a full week from that notice, and even when your penalty is lifted, don't celebrate until you clear the 2 week mark. We've seen far too many penalized sites revert within that time frame.

Don't file without having addressed something
Too many people think that simply requesting reconsideration, without doing anything might work. That will do nothing but harm your credibility. Assume that someone reading your request has on his/her screen a list of the compliance issues impacting your site. If you are not advancing or correcting anything on that screen, you're wasting the reader's and your time.

File as often as you address issues
There are many times where it pays to file after you fix each known issue. As you discover and fix them, file for reconsideration. Of course the best way would be to fix everything and file once, but that's not the way is usually plays out. The point is that numerous requests, if each represents an improvement in the compliance status, can be an effective way to communicate that you are actually attempting to bring your site into compliance.

Blog_id: 13 | Posted: 2009-12-24 20:01:58 | Views (6,272) | Comments (1)  
Comment By: Dwayne Sancho
re: Google Penalty Handling: How To File For Reconsideration
(posted 2010-07-14 16:13:17)

Thanks for this! Better than any advice given by Google on this topic.

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