If you think you’ve been wrongfully hit by Google’s Penguin update, Google has provided a form that you can fill out, in hopes that Google will see the light and get your site back into the mix. However, there’s also a good chance that if you were hit by the update, it was not wrong. It was because you were violating Google’s quality guidelines. I’m not saying you were, but if you were, there is a path toward redemption.
For example, if you were busted participating in a link scheme, you’re not necessarily out of Google forever. Google says once you’ve made changes to keep your site from violating Google’s guidelines, you can submit a reconsideration request.
To do so, go to Webmaster Tools, sign into your Google account, make sure you have your site verified, and submit the request.
Google’s Rachel Searles and Brian White discuss tips for your request in this video:
“It’s important to admit any mistakes you’ve made, and let us know what you’ve done to try to fix them,” says Searles. “Sometimes we get requests from people who say ‘my site adheres to the guidelines now,’ and that’s not really enough information for us, so please be as detailed as possible. Realize that there are actually people reading these requests.”
“Ask questions of the people who work on your site, if you don’t work on it yourself,” she suggests, if you don’t know why you’re being penalized. Obviously, read the quality guidelines. She also suggests seeking help on the Google Webmaster forum, if you’d like the advice of a third party.
“Sometimes we get reconsideration requests, where the requester associates technical website issues with a penalty,” says White. “An example: the server timed out for a while, or bad content was delivered for a time. Google is pretty adaptive to these kinds of transient issues with websites. So if you sometimes misread the situation, as ‘I have a penalty,” and seek reconsideration, it’s probably a good idea to wait a bit, see if things revert to their previous state.”
“In the case of bad links that were gathered, point us to a URL-exhaustive effort to clean that up,” he says. “Also, we have pretty good tools internally, so don’t try to fool us. There are actual people, as Rachel said, looking at your reports. If you intentionally pass along bad or misleading information, we will disregard that request for reconsideration.”
“And please don’t spam the reconsideration form,” adds Searles. “It doesn’t help to submit multiple requests all the time. Just one detailed concise report and just get it right the first time.”
Google says they review the requests promptly.
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