September 4, 2013

How to Ask Google to Reconsider Your Website

If you are managing a site online and expecting to reach more online users, you do count on search engines. Search engines can be helpful on delivering targeted traffic onto your site, and if you can impress them very well, you will be able to create long lasting relationships with visitors too. Hence, I believe you have been following effective SEO practices or hired a SEO expert to take care of your search engine visibility. But, mistakes can happen with or without your knowledge. Will search engines accept your apology?


As we talk about search engines, still you can't keep Google away from your SEO to-do list. Can you? Google search is one of the most trusted web search engines online, and probably the one sending most traffic on your way.

It's search engine's responsibility to worry about people seeking relevant information online. To produce best possible search results, Google takes different approaches and consistently update their search algorithm. While online searchers benefit from improved search experience, online publishers have to put more effort on adopting with updated search algorithms. Not if you were following good SEO practices though.

Webmaster Guidelines

Are you familiar with Google's Webmaster Guidelines? You MUST. Especially the quality guidelines. If you have been violating any of stated guidelines, Google reserve the right to demote or remove your pages from Google search results.

In case if Google found your site has been violating webmaster guidelines, or involved with bad practices or posing a threat online, sooner or later, you will find your site performs poorly than it used to be. It's not only your actions, but also external factors can affect on poor search ranking too. For example, low quality backlinks is one of those factors you need to keep monitoring.

Most of the processes behind Google search are automated. If Googlebots found your site contains malware, your pages will automatically demoted or removed from search results. But yet, automated processes may not very effective in every scenario. Therefore, Google may take manual actions to improve the search quality and such actions will directly affect search ranking too.

If you were experiencing negative impact on your site in Google search, and Google has taken manual actions for your site, that's where the reconsideration request come in handy.

Reconsideration Requests

The name itself implies the meaning! Reconsideration request is a request sending out to Google to review your site against the issues that has been identified, and to revoke any manual actions taken for your site. As a prerequisite, you need to make sure that the identified issues are already resolved. But, how come you know if your rankings were affected by manual actions?

Earlier, webmasters had no idea if Google has taken manual actions on their site or not. They had to send a reconsideration request in first place to find out if manual actions was the cause. Usually it took around 2 - 3 days too. If no manual actions were taken, the reply states,

"We reviewed your site and found no manual actions by the webspam team that might affect your site's ranking in Google. There's no need to file a reconsideration request for your site, because any ranking issues you may be experiencing are not related to a manual action taken by the webspam team."

Now you don't need to wait for a confirmation email at all. It's more transparent and you can simply know about any manual actions via Google Webmaster Tools.

If your site was affected by Google's manual actions, you need to review your site against webmaster guidelines and resolve the issues addressed by manual actions. Then, you can send a reconsideration request asking Google to revoke the manual actions.

However, your new rankings may not be the same as earlier as there are different signals being affected on how pages rank on Google search.

Let's take a look at how to send a reconsideration request.

Before You Go:

* Make sure you have already added and verified your blog or website in Google Webmaster Tools. Unless you won't be able to request a reconsideration. If you are not familiar with adding your site, read How to Add Your Website to Google Webmaster Tools.


1. Go to Google's Request Reconsideration page.

2. Now select relevant blog or website from the drop down menu.

3. Click Check Manual Actions button.

4. Now you will be directed to the Manual Actions page within Google Webmaster Tools. It will reflect any manual webspam actions taken by Google.

5. If you couldn't find any manual actions, you don't need to file a reconsideration request. You can't either. Else, you can find corresponding reasons along with affected URLs.

6. Now take the addressed problems into account and fix them. You will also find helpful links listed there on how to resolve each issue too.

7. As you fix each issue, you can click Request a Review button corresponding to each match to ask Google to reconsider your site and pages.

Enjoy :-)

Awesome! Thanks for coming by and taking your time to read this post :) I hope you have learnt something today. Now you can share it with your friends and I'd love to hear from you too.

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igor Griffiths said...

Well hello Mayura, thanks for the great reminder to keep an eye on my Webmasters account and respond promptly to the issues Google has with my sites.

Of course the above applies regardless of what search engine you are using, Yahoo has their own webmaster dashboard which is now part of the Bing family.

An important point to note, regardless of what the SEO lunatics will say, you can only play outside or in the gray area of the search engines rules for so long before either you get penalized or everyone gets penalized, as Googles recent animal collection of updates indicated.


Harleena Singh said...

Hi Mayura,

Informative indeed :)

I think this Manual action has recently been added in Google Webmasters, and would surely resolve a lot of problems that otherwise people face when they have such issues.

I agree with you, that you shouldn't submit any kind of report for taking action if everything looks alright, though how does one reach or get to know of that stage? Perhaps when you see a drop in rank, if you haven't seen your Webmasters by that time I think. I guess I better go and check mine and learn about what you just mentioned. It's good to be aware and take timely action, isn't it?

Thanks for sharing this useful information with us. Have a nice week ahead :)

Jeevan Jacob John said...

That's great :D

It's good to hear that Google is trying to improve the user experience (Frankly, Google is one among the few big companies that actually care about their users).

Thanks for the tip, Mayura :) Google is providing so much stuff for free, aren't they? (Well, they do give us ads through Searches). I am glad that they are not trying to make money through Google analytics or Webmaster tools.

Anyways, thank you :D

Lisa Buben said...

Thanks Mayura for showing us exactly how to do this one. I haven't had any warnings yet showing up but this is so good to know! Something to save to the pocket for the day it will be needed. It's nice they are offering this now to webmasters. We can't complain with their FREE tools, right?

Barry Wells said...

Hi Mayura,

I love this type of post you do because I'm guilty of not getting in there as much as I should.

I thought I had a concern with Google last year as I searched for a post (review) to see how it ranked and couldn't find it at all on Google but on Bing I was in 2nd place.

This was during my time off, so when I came back and had that spring clean I think I undone whatever it was because I could then find the post.... Strange I know, maybe I had some bad links in there before the clean up ;)

I followed your advice here and can report to having NO manual webspam found :)

Nice one mate, keep these coming.... We all need a nudge now and then Mayura ;)


Margarita Slavkova said...

Mayura, you always post golden nuggets of "how to" actions. I went straight ahead to check my site. I found out that Google was nice to me. I had no idea how to request reconsideration and now I do. I learned a great new skill today thanks to you. Thank you!

Adrienne said...

Hey Mayura,

Gosh, I'm so glad you know so much about Google Webmaster Tools. I know how to do certain stuff but the rest I guess I just don't pay that much attention to.

I do know though that even though Google and I have a love/hate relationship that they still do have me up in the search results so I'm good with that at least. I did know about this though but I would have had to look for a refresher course I'm sure if I had to do something about this. You know, we learn it but until we need it we kind of forget what to do.

Thank you for another fabulous tutorial my friend.


Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Igor,

We all need that reminder mate :) Sometimes I forget to land on GWMT for weeks too. Whenever I find something off with rankings, that's the first place I visit :)

Actually, guidelines are quite common among other search engines too mate. As like we know spamming is not a good practice. No one needs to state that, eh? :) But at some points, it's necessary.

Ha ha... Definitely! We publishers do believe search engines are on our side but the reality is we do play within the given space and according to their rules sometimes.

Personally, I believe some Google updates are really matters though Igor :) But what I love most is that instead of blaming Google for the loss of traffic, others people (Especially businesses) take other opportunities wisely to reinstate their traffic flow. I think people love to be lazy :)

Google is not our friend, but it's a business mate. Being too much dependent will definitely gonna hurt us, even in personal life :) But sadly, most folks willing put all the eggs in one basket. But I'm glad you think ahead of that Igor :)

Thanks for coming over and adding your thoughts on how Google search affects publishers mate :)


Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Harleena,

Of course dear! As I recall, it's been rolled out in last August, but again pulled due to some issues. But now it's back and rolled out for everyone :)

As Google states, manual actions are usually affects on 2%, so I hope yours not affected :) But it's best to clarify by checking it out.

Yeah Harleena :) But if you wanted to know these earlier, you had to submit a form. It was inefficient, but Google didn't take action until they hit by over 5000 requests per month. Now, gladly, you can review and submit only when you find issues :)

Very good question! AND you already answered it partially too :)

You can watch out for organic traffic stats via your web analytics tool and if you find your traffic being declined drastically, manual actions could be one of the reasons dear. But there can be other sorts of causes too. Even Google experience some technical issues time to time :)

Now, I hope you will be aware of Google's manual actions dear :)

Thanks for coming by and adding your thoughts into the discussion Harleena :) I do appreciate asking a very helpful question too.

You have a nice weekend ahead dear!


Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Jeevan,

Gosh... YES mate! :) I think Google could do that earlier too. But as more and more requests were on their way, it was the best solution :)

Indeed, most of their products are free and I love that too mate :) Even not just free products but very helpful too. I really love their approach.

Anyway, I don't think it's a big problem for a such a company. However FREE is not free though. They got all our information in their servers and we are making 'em rich too Jeevan :) They know what we gonna buy and ads taking advantage of that too. Bit scary, so better play safe ;)

Thanks for dropping by and contributing your thoughts on Google's approach mate :)


Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Lisa,

With all the updates Google were rolling out, can you believe they were hit by 5000 requests per month? ;) That's huge and I'm glad they made it simpler!

I'm sure you must have seen it from the first day as you frequently visit GWMT Lisa :) Glad to hear no warnings after all dear. So, you just need to focus on other aspects on improving search rankings.

Of course! I don't see any reason why someone blame GWMT and I think it offers more than we expected Lisa :) Gosh... Without GWMT, we just make assumptions everyday or reply on 3rd parties, nah? :)

Thanks for stopping by, and adding your thoughts on Google and GWMT Lisa :)


Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Barry,

Ha ha... I know you are very busy lately mate ;) No time for even more important stuff sometimes, eh?

So glad to hear no manual actions after all Barry :) You are doing it right and I doubt most of us need to worry about 'em at all. Anyway, things are much transparent now :)

Mmm... Strange enough! But, as you implied, it could be bad links in there. Even, external backlinks can pose a threat too mate. Eventhough they are out of our control. That's where Disavow tool comes in handy :)

Well, keep eyes on GWMT Barry :) Shouldn't let Google to take us down, eh? :D lol...

Thanks for coming here, and sharing your thoughts on Google and search rankings mate :)


Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Margarita,

Yippy! That's really nice to hear :) So you are doing it right dear.

Now you just need to keep watching your progress with Google Webmaster Tools :) So you can predict if something is off there!

Even if you find something off with your rankings, you know where to look at too :)

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts after checking it out Margarita :)


Mayura De Silva said...

Hey Adrienne,

Now this is a new addition dear :) Glad to see now it's more transparent, eh? Else it would have been a process consumes more of our time. Especially after those Panda and Penguin updates.

I agree there Adrienne! Things are tend to forget when we practice 'em least. Thankfully, Internet is immensely helpful there to find what we need :)

I know you do things right and as other commenters mentioned, I hope you won't find any manual actions for your blog too dear :) You can just clarify over at GWMT. Now you know where to look if you find something off with search rankings :)

Thanks for coming by and adding your thoughts into the discussion Adrienne :)


Sue Neal said...

Hi Mayura,

Many thanks for this tip and for sharing the video - it's good to know there's something you can do to get things rectified if you do get slammed by Google. Like igor, you've reminded me to have a look at GWT, which I'm afraid I'm still very bad at - I still find it a bit scary. As you know, this technical stuff isn't something that comes easily to me.

Thanks very much, Mayura - have a great weekend :)

Arleen Harry said...

Mayura- I am curios about something. I know it is important to get your site in the front of Google and make sure you are following their guidelines. I am using Google Shopping Merchant.

I sell promotional products online and I sell pocket knives. I got this notice from Google.I am not selling weapons. I am trying to have web developer take care of this. My question is, will this effect my organic ranking with Google. Thank you in advance.

Dear Google Shopping

The merchant is in violation of Weapons policy and has offers
similar to:
You may send the following messaging to the merchant:

Thank you for your interest in Google Shopping.
After reviewing your account or product listing, our specialists have found
that it does not meet our current Google Shopping policy guidelines.

Your account or product listing is currently not running because Google
Shopping doesn't allow the promotion of weapons or devices designed to cause
serious harm or injury. The promotion of weapons includes guns, gun parts or
hardware, ammunition, bombs, knives, throwing stars, and brass knuckles.

Jeevan Jacob John said...

Hahaha, Indeed, I bet they know more about us than we do.

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Sue,

Yeah dear :) Sometimes they are not intentional but mistakes, so Google allows users to rectify if users willing to take action and follow the guidelines. Now, even you can go over there and see if Google found any issues on your blog too :) I hope not.

I know that dear :) GWMT considered as very technical for some bloggers out there and hence I did the series of posts too.

Anyway, you don't need to worry about all the options in there, but make use of what you can. Just what you can. That's enough :) You can leave a comment if you find any questions too.

Thanks for coming over and sharing your thoughts on this topic dear :)

You have a lovely weekend too! :)


Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Arleen,

That's why exactly you need to get in touch with Google Webmaster Tools (GWMT) dear :) If Google find any issues or violations which affects on your Google search ranking, GWMT will let you know. It's all about Google search.

As this query relates to Google Shopping, it will affect on your promotional campaign, but not in Google search though :)

Here you can find more information about restricted products in Google Shopping ~ Restricted Products. Knives are listed under Weapons. Anyway, you can contact them and get assistance on how to fix this issue properly.

As manual actions are live, you can follow the steps above and clarify if Google wants you to take care of anything dear. If no actions needed, you are safe. I hope you don't have any :)

Hope it helps Arleen :)


Mayura De Silva said...

I'll second! We gotta keep our secrets to ourselves mate :D


Jeevan Jacob John said...


That's the primary reason why I removed lot of information from my FB account. I want to be "off the Grid". But, being a blogger and trying to be off the grid can be hard.

Angela McCall said...

Hi Mayura,

All clear. No manual actions. :)

BTW, I was just reading your conversation with Arleen...and she mentioned about some Google violations. "The promotion of weapons includes guns, gun parts orhardware, ammunition, bombs, knives, throwing stars, and brass knuckles."

IF these are illegal in Google search, how come they allow things like..."How to make a bomb" in Google search? I mean, I'm surprise to even see that on search engine.


Sue Price said...

Hi Mayura

I am so happy to have you in our circle of bloggers to teach us things like this. I really love how you lay it all out so even non tech people can understand. I also enjoyed the video.

I do think it is excellent that Google will take manual action and that there is a way we can ask to them to reconsider.

Thanks for sharing this with us.


Mayura De Silva said...

Ha ha... Too much personal information can make us vulnerable Jeevan :) Still, it depends on how others gonna use our information though.

Safety first, eh? If nothing works, try Batman's approach ;)


Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Angela,

Glad to hear you have no manual actions dear :) You are doing great and I doubt you will ever find any manual actions!

Ah... It's related to Google Shopping product dear :) Not Google search and her listing show up in Google search. Google Shopping doesn't allow such listings from merchants.

Google search yet do allow some weird stuff to be found online. But they can take manual actions, if pretty bad stuff gonna get more attention :) It's harder to keep everything automated, eh?

Thanks for dropping by and glad you clarified yours Angela :) Appreciate the question, as others may have got the same in mind dear.


Jeevan Jacob John said...

Of course, but we don't want to share too much of our lives in SM.

;) Indeed :D

Mayura De Silva said...

I wish if everyone follows that Jeevan ;) Especially, teens!

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Sue,

Exactly dear :) If Google made everything automated with no human touch, we would have no chance to get listed again once we made a mistake. Ugh... Then everyone would have switched to another search engine, eh? :)

I hope you had a look at yours already and don't think you have nothing to worry about either :) Anyway, now you know what to do if you find something off on Google.

Thanks for coming over and sharing your thoughts on this feature Sue :)


Cole Wiebe said...

A well researched and useful post. Thanks for the reminder Mayura. I haven't checked Google Webmaster Tools in a while.

Ashley Faulkes said...

Hey Mayura, sorry I haven't been over in a while. Lucky for my I have not had any problems with Google yet, but it is a reminder that I need to pop over to webmaster tools occasionally to see what is going on. It is helpful that we can request reviews of problems now and not have to beg Google to help us out for something that may not even be our fault - so many strange links on our comments etc.
Thanks for the info

Mayura De Silva said...

Hey Ashley,

Gosh... No need to apologize at all :) Bloggers can get busy so much, eh?

Glad to hear you have no issues with Google mate. Of course! GWMT is the best way to find out how your blog performs on Google search, and you can find clues hidden within your stats too :)

I agree there! Earlier the process was time consuming and even if we had an issue or not, had to send a request. Now you can find any existing issues, just by looking at your account :)

Thanks for coming by and adding your thoughts to the discussion Ashley :)


Praveen Rajarao said...

Hi Mayura - Nice to know about the Manual Actions button in webmasters. I wasnt aware of that, and immediately went back to check, and glad to see no manual actions taken :-)

Thanks for this write-up, now I can keep away from bad content :-) One thing we need to appreciate is how much information and tools and stats Google provides to use, which is so much useful in analysing our site's performance.

Great going.

Mayura De Silva said...

Hey Praveen,

It's really nice to see you back mate ;) I was long gone too.

I doubt you have any manual actions listed in your GWMT, but it's always worth paying attention to. Google is wonderful indeed to cut down the time consuming process by just allowing webmasters to see if their sites were hit by manual actions :)

Ha ha... I know you always careful enough to keep away from troubles Praveen :)

I agree there! We should grateful to Google for offering 'em all for free, else bloggers and webmasters would have to struggle more throughout their journey to success :)

Thanks for coming over and sharing your thoughts on this feature Praveen :)


Manickam Vijayabanu said...

Hi Mayura,

Very informative post! I use web master tool to analyze though not widely using it.

Since so many spam mails and comments floating around the blogs those will surely create impact to our blogs. I am not active past few months at my blog space due to busy schedule.

Need to wind back as much possible. Also the manual action would be quite a nice and let me surely check that as well.

Thanks for the nice post Mayura.

Mayura De Silva said...

Hey Manickam,

Google Webmaster Tools is free and very easy to use. Don't you agree? ;)

Ah... You have been away? Me too mate ;) Spammers never go idle and we have to keep eyes on 'em all the time. Thanks to the spam filters and all that, we can take a rest ;)

I don't think you have any manual actions to be taken care of, but yes, it's always best to know if we are doing fine with our site mate :) Hope you already did that.

Thanks for coming over and sharing your thoughts about GWMT and spammers Manickam :)