In yesterday’s Google Webmaster Central office hours, the question came up about how some sites seem to get back into Google’s search index faster than other sites, in light of Thumbtack’s link penalty and subsequent removal of the penalty a week later.
John Mueller actually went quite in depth into it, talking both about why some sites seem to get penalties lifted faster than others, and how those submitting reconsideration requests can also do them so they can also take advantage of getting them lifted quickly too. It is the most detailed Google has been about reconsideration requests.
The question specifically was:
Does Google take in consideration the size of a company/site when processing responses for Manual Actions? Both RapGenius and Thumbtack penalties were processed/recovered very fast (with days not weeks). However, smaller sites sit for weeks/months.
John Mueller’s response:
We don’t really take into account what kind of sites they are, who they are owned by, a lot of these cases it’s not the case that even the web spam team even kind of has these background information on what kind of site it is, how big it is, who owns the site or who has invested in a site, that is something that was also suggested here.
This is not something we take into account for the manual action processing.
A lot seems to come down with how detailed you are in your reconsideration request.
Sometimes there are situations where when the web spam team looks at it, they’re like well this is a fantastic job, they really did a complete cleanup of the issues here, maybe they even wrote some magic tools to kind of fix these issues on a broader scale, and these are the situations where the web spam team well this is a fantastic clean up job and says we need to revoke this manual action because it is not relevant anymore.
And some of these sites when I look into them, because people complain about them so I try to double check what’s actually happening here, they really do a fantastic job of cleaning these things up. So that’s not always the case that I say it’s a well known site so it gets processed faster but it’s really a case of what you submit with the reconsideration request.
And if you don’t include much information about what you cleaned up or how you did it, then those can take much longer to process and can end up having to go back and forth with the team in order to have the manual action lifted.
A lot of the reconsideration requests when I look at them, they are really low quality, they are almost like hey Google I fixed my issue but they don’t give us any information about what they did, and those are the kind of reconsideration requests that tend to go back and forth a couple of times. Or where the web spam team says well, let’s look at it in a week or so and see what actually changed because we don’t have any information about what actually happened here.
John also details what you should include.
So that’s the kind of thing where it just takes a lot longer to be reprocessed. But if you can send us a reconsideration request that is really to the point, where you tell us exactly what you’ve been doing, you give us information showing you’ve completely cleaned up this issue then that’s something that really helps us process these things faster. We don’t have to pass them on to other teams to kind of discuss, we don’t have to wait to see how things are processed with regards to web search. We can really look at that and say well this is clean, this is really well done, and we can take that into account and take that as a sign that we need to remove that manual action.
He also has a special shout out to those who deal with penalty removals regularly.
That is something where I think if you have great people submitting the reconsideration requests who really do a fantastic job of cleaning these things up, sometimes you can get these processed a little bit faster.
If things are taking longer than expected, such as more than a week or two, then he suggests reaching out to see if there is another issue.
And sometimes we have a backlog that kind of applies across the board to all websites, where maybe where maybe the manual actions team has a lot to do on their plate at the moment and kind of has to process them a little bit slower.
If you are seeing things that are really taking a lot longer than maybe a week or two, then that’s something you can also bring up to us and we can double check with the team to see what’s happening here, is it getting stuck unnaturally because maybe it fell between the cracks or something like that- or maybe there is something we can do to speed things up.
Here is the full video:
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