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When to submit a Google reconsideration request?

Have you noticed significant drop in ranks for the past few days?  Did your traffic suddenly descended from thousands to hundreds, or even lesser? These are some of the indications of a website that has been negatively affected by Google’s recent activities. But is it necessary to submit a reconsideration request to Google right away, especially after experiencing the manifestations which I mentioned above? The answer is a capitalised NO.

Before you submit a reconsideration request to Google, you first need to investigate the cause of the problem. Below are two major reasons why websites experience notable plunge in rankings and traffic in Google:

1)      Algorithmic – This is the type of Google penalty that affect websites once an algorithmic change has been rolled out. The impact implicated by this update is automatic in accordance to the aim of the algorithm. For an algorithm penalty, there is a tendency that only few keywords are affected and you still rank on some of the other terms you optimise for.

Normally, you’ll notice improvement in ranks and traffic once Google re-crawled and re-indexed your site, thus detecting the adjustments you made to fix the issues that might have triggered the penalty.

2)      Manual Penalty or Manual Action – This is what causes devastation to many website owners and webmasters across the globe. In order to know if you were hit by Google’s manual penalty, you need to login to your Google Webmaster Account and check your inbox to find a message informing you that a manual action has been taken against your site.

See sample manual action message from Google below:

Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links to

Dear site owner or webmaster of,
We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.
We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results.
If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.
If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.
Google Search Quality Team

Getting tagged by this penalty is like going into a jail with arraignments underway and it’s up for you to prove that you’re not guilty to be set free and live a bountiful life once again. During the period of being penalised, you’ll experience visible drought in search traffic and miss out on businesses that usually go your way. Recovering from this penalty is a tedious process and requires a lot of time and patience.

Get more in-depth explanation about Manual and Algorithmic Google penalties in an article which I had written recently. See article here: Google Algorithmic vs Manual Penalty: How to determine difference?

Keys to getting algorithmic and manual Google site penalty revoked

  • Improve your onsite SEO
  • Build quality links on related sites
  • Publish exceptional, interesting and shareable content on your website
  • Don’t overuse anchor texts for link building and build links naturally
  • Integrate Social Media to your SEO campaign
  • Clean up your website and inform Google about your efforts
  • Disavow bad links to your website (Using Google Disavow Tool)
  • Send a reconsideration request (For manual penalty only)


To sum it all up, you don’t necessarily need to send reconsideration request if you did not receive a manual penalty message via Google Webmaster Tool.  Traffic and rank fluctuations caused by algorithmic updates can be automatically lifted by employing some adjustments and making sure that we follow Google’s quality guidelines.

For those who received manual action from Google, you really need to work hard in reclaiming big G’s trust. Be sure to quarantine your website and document all your efforts for proofs. Include screenshots and supporting data when sending your reconsideration request to have a greater chance of getting the penalty lifted. It’s not going to be easy but it’s all worthwhile especially when you achieved your goal and regain presence in Google’s search results.