If Google slaps you with a manual penalty it’s not the end for your site. You always have an opportunity to undo the damage, so to speak.
When you correct the problems that led to receiving a penalty, you can then submit a reconsideration request to have Google take another look at your site.
If Google feels like you have adequately resolved the issues it will then reindex your site. If your reconsideration request isn’t approved then it’s back to the drawing board.
Google wants to send fewer webmasters back to that proverbial drawing board, as the company has recently updated its Help Center article on reconsideration requests with detailed information on how to submit a successful request.
This updated documentation contains the steps you need to take to submit a reconsideration request, and also sheds some light on how Google processes those requests.
One of the reasons reconsideration requests aren’t approved is because the site owner didn’t fully document all the actions taken to correct the problems.
Google is like a math teacher when it comes to reconsideration requests, it wants you to show your work. The updated Help Center article has tips on how to fully document the work you did to better the chances of having your request approved.
An important addition to this document is the ‘common reconsideration request pitfalls’ section. In it, Google sets the record straight about the disavow tool and how it’s not a substitute for trying to get a link removed.
According to the new documentation, disavowing all of your bad links without making any attempt to get them manually removed will not result in a successful reconsideration request.
If you find yourself in the position of having to submit a reconsideration request for either yourself or a client, make sure to consult Google’s new Help Center article first.