Skip to main content

Digital Marketing

10 Steps to Submit a Google Reconsideration Request

Two months ago I wrote a blog post to help you figure out if Google’s Penguin penalized your site. If you know for a fact that Google has penalized your website because you received a Google Webmaster Tools Notice of Detected Unnatural Links message then keep reading. Here is a 10 step approach to submit a Google Reconsideration Request.

1.       Put together a list of backlinks
Besides downloading the list of backlinks provided by Google Webmaster Tools, use additional tools like Majestic and Open Site Explorer. Add them to an excel document and remove duplicates.
2.       Create an email template
This email template will include information regarding the penalty, the link, and anchor text you are requesting the webmaster or site owner to take down. This template can change depending on who you are contacting.
3.       Start the backlink clean up
Visit each link on the excel document created on step one, determine if it’s spammy, find contact information, and request the link removal. There are no rules of thumb when it comes to judging the quality of a backlink. My recommendation is to read the copy, look at the website, determine if it is relevant, and follow your gut.
4.       Keep track of all your work

  • Reviewed links
  • Contacted sites
  • Contact method
  • Dates
  • Webmasters’ response

5.       Prepare a txt file
When going through the list of links you will find that some site owners will not respond to your emails, some sites will not have contact information, some domains will be expired, and some links will be broken. For all of these backlinks that you can’t control, Google has developed a disavow tool.
To disavow a backlink you need to include it on a txt file, add comments, and submit it here. Read this Google post to learn more about the tool.
6.       Submit a Google Webmaster Tools reconsideration request
Explain the reason behind the unnatural links if you know it, provide detailed information regarding the effort you have put into cleaning the backlinks (including using the disavow tool), and be honest.
7.       Be patient
Since humans are reviewing the reconsideration requests and the disavow tool submissions, it will take weeks for the backlinks to be disavowed and for the reconsideration request to be reviewed.
8.       Google Webmaster Tools reply
If the GWT team lets you know that they will remove the penalty. You are done! But be patient since it takes weeks for the actual penalty to get lifted.
If the GWT team replies: “we’ve reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines”, you need to go back to step #1.
9.       Change your SEO strategy
In addition to removing low quality backlinks, focus on adding natural and high quality backlinks by writing good content, engaging with your social followers, writing press releases, articles, blog posts, etc. As the number of high quality backlinks increases the impact of the low quality backlinks decreases. Short cuts are not an option anymore.
10.   Get more involved
Request detailed SEO reports, review them, and follow your gut. If something seems forced, spammy, or irrelevant…stop it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Valeria Brotherton

As an XD Sr. Business Consultant at Perficient, Valeria specializes in Digital Marketing, including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-per-click (PPC), Social Media, Analytics Reporting, and Content Strategy. Originally from Costa Rica, Valeria holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in Finance, a master’s degree from Georgia State University in Marketing, and a Google AdWords and Microsoft AdCenter Certification. Outside the office, she enjoys event planning, blogging, travelling, dancing, and spending time with her family, friends, and Mila (her puppy).

More from this Author

Follow Us