How to File a Google Reconsideration Request

Filing Google reconsideration request is the last resort for webmasters to recover their penalized sites. There are no guarantees it will help and hence plenty of rumors and speculations exist as to how it should be filed and what to expect.

1. Don’t rush to submit a reconsideration request – if you haven’t done anything wrong, you will recover your rankings within 0,5 – 2 months without any evident reason except that some time passed.

2. The whole process of filing a reconsideration request is described here: you will have to add your site to Google Webmaster tools (if you haven’t already).

3. “Full confession” helps: describe the situation in detail – everything that you suspect to have led to the penalty should be explained in detail. That might include past owner’s illegitimate actions, your own on-site optimization efforts, link building performed, etc.

4. Make sure your site is “crystal clear” at the time you are filing the request – everything that you might have done in violation of Google guidelines should be corrected.

5. Be patient – you are most unlikely to receive a response but, if everything is ok, you will see proper rankings within 1 – 4 months.

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project,
Ann Smarty

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13 thoughts on “How to File a Google Reconsideration Request

  1. Great stuff Annie, here are my steps too :)

    So, how does one hit up Google Webmaster Central to Ask for Reinstatement?

    • First, make sure that you are not breaking the Google Guidelines or selling links which would lead to your PageRank score falling. You don’t want to go telling Google you’ve changed your ways when you haven’t and you certainly do not want to say that you never did something they are frowning against, when you do.
    • Then log into Google Webmaster Tools (if you do not have a Google Webmaster Tools account then create one, and validate your site with them.)
    • Select “Request reconsideration” from the Dashboard on the right hand side.
    • Then read the fine print very carefully. By requesting reconsideration, you’re telling Google that you have violated the Webmaster Guidelines in the past and to your best knowledge, are no longer violating them. If you break the guidelines in other ways, be sure to address those changes before reporting your site changes to Google (because you might be opening up a huge can of worms).
    • Request Reconsideration : Have everything together and sure your site is meeting the Webmaster Guidelines, then fill out the form, tell them about the changes you made, and hit the Request Reconsideration button.
  2. We took over an account a few years ago that had been de-listed on Google, after we found, got rid of their black-hat techniques and re-coded the site, we filed a reconsideration request. And within three weeks the site was back up to it’s original results position(s).

    But make sure you follow the guidelines before you file!

  3. Rankings do fluctuate over time, so my advice to clients is to be patient before you get to this point…

    If they have done nothing wrong then there is nothing to worry about! Anyway, great resource on this topic!

  4. According to Google there are 200 factors involved in ranking the search results, one is the PageRank. No once seems interested in questioning what are those factors? Google is playing with search results to put together the results they like and no one has a clue what is going on. And finally people sort of like it because they do not have any other option. This is a sad reality when one company dominates the search.

  5. One fine day, my blog disappeared from the SERP’s – i didn’t employ any un-ethical technique – thought it will recover but after a week seeing my site not rank for its own name.

    I filed a reconsideration request – 2-3 weeks later – it bounced back to normal.
    Till now I do not know for sure what I did wrong, G never replied.

    Nevertheless, I agree with Babak above – I hope more competition will make things better.

  6. Let me tell you one thing, a small group of engineers or managers in Google even though very talented can not decide how the Internet should evolve, most part of the Google webmaster guideline is a joke. Why we should follow a corporate and big business guideline for web development. Their web crawling system and their expectations in there is against fundamental change that is happening on the Internet. If we wanted to only please Google we should have buried Ajax, Widgets, DHTML and many other technologies which are growing fast everywhere and yet Google fails to detect contents like that and suggests avoiding them. Internet evolution is not governed by anyone period.

  7. I have seen my search rankings drop without my PageRank having any change. And, for no apparent reason. I am considering the reconsideration request form, but I am giving it much thought, as recommended above. I beleive also that it will open the proverbial can of worms. It may just be a better use of my time to go after getting some more links (understood as- backlinks from pagerank >= my own.). The linking seems to carry more weight, if you beleive webmaster guidelines (G). Babak, above, doesnt seem to get that some of us have businesses that financially exist on whether or not a customer finds us in G. We dont just have websites with articles we have written for people to read. Those types of sites dont have their life blood depending on G search results. Mine does. Even if it is the corporate giant, I must bow before it, for now. There is also alot to be said for the blogosphere- if you cant rise up in SEO rank, then start blogging everywhere. G picks up on blogs like another site, not recognizing that the for the humna user, it leads back to my own website. This improves my exposure in search results to human consumers. I’ll have time to debate the philosophical ideas of my life’s dependence on the G supercomputers later on in my old age. Today I have to improve my rankings.

  8. Good post but sometimes I was just wondering how Google’s staffs can accommodate millions of problematic webmasters at once. I have an experience when I submitted my reconsideration request and only took one day for my site to rank again (My keyword ranking dropped after someone hacked my blog. You can read my full story on my post). Yet some webmasters take weeks or months before they see results. I think there is some kind of system on how Google knows if the webmaster are sincere or not on requesting reconsideration.

  9. It is very difficult to apologize to Google when you look around at all the other websites out ranking you in natural search and you know it is all the links they have bought.

    If Google every really took a stand against paid links the internet would be a completely different place. I am willing to be that 6 out of every top 10 results would be gone, including the vast majority of number 1 ranked websites.

    OK this is very strange, I tried to submit this post, and your website keeps telling me my comment seems spammy? Not sure what I did wrong but I am adding this text to make my comment longer….hope it works this time.