Reconsideration Request

Reconsideration Request refers to an application to have a website re-included in the search engine index or a new assessment of the website that has been rated negatively for several reasons by Google and removed from the upper positions in the Google index. A Reconsideration Request is a form that is available in the Google Search Console.

General information[edit]

For various reasons, it may happen that a website is completely removed from the search engine index, for example, due to a penalty for the use of unauthorized SEO techniques or if it is blacklisted by Google for other reasons. As a rule, there is a clear violation of the search engine guidelines.

A distinction is made between a manual action by Google and a sinking in the search results. If the site has a lower position due to a change in the algorithms, a Reconsideration Request is futile. In this case there is a change in the index, which is being implemented by Google using automatic procedures.[1]

Reconsideration Requests are only useful if a manual action that has been taken by Google employees. These measures are also called penalties and may cover different areas of a website. For example, categories or subpages and even entire domains or subdomains. Also, the ranking with certain keywords may be the target of a penalty when a formerly high position in the search results with specific keywords violated the Google policies. In the worst case, a website is completely deindexed, i.e. removed from the search engine index.

Before a Reconsideration Request is submitted to Google, it should be clear what exactly the violation is and what pages are affected. Only then can the errors be traced to take appropriate countermeasures. At the time of submitting a Reconsideration Request, the reasons for removal from the search engine index have to be eliminated. The more unnatural a link profile of a website is, the more time it will take to complete the handling. The reasons for a penalty can be very diverse:[2]

1) Unnatural links to a webpage or from webpage

2.) A website was attacked by hackers

3.) Poor content that does not represent added value to the user in Google’s eyes

4.) Spam sites or spam which was created by users

5.) Redirects in the form of cloaking, which do not refer to the target URL

6.) Invisible texts that are readable by search engines but not by users

7) Free hosts that are operated by advertising

Practical relevance: submitting an application to Google[edit]

A detailed analysis is important before submitting the application. A reason and a destination URL is usually specified for each error in the Webmaster Tools. This information should be checked prior to the application and countermeasures taken. The actual Reconsideration Request is submitted using the following steps:

1.) First, you need to log into Webmaster Tools with your Google Account. The search engine can then better identify the user and website. Thereafter, the actual Reconsideration Request can be submitted in the Webmaster Tools.

2.) In the application form there is the possibility to select a webpage using a dropdown menu. You will next be asked about the reason for the Reconsideration Request. A brief explanation should be given there as to why the website had been excluded from the index and what may have led to the action (for example, measures from an external agency, description of the actions which contributed to the exclusion, etc.).

3.) Then, it should be stated that all errors have been eliminated and it will never happen again. Now you can submit the application by clicking a button.

4.) Note: It is essential that, as part of these steps, Google receives a clear explanation of the remedial steps taken. Under certain circumstances, a table may be submitted showing evidence for removed links, for example, using Google Docs. That way Google employees can see which links were removed. Google also places a lot of importance that all the links that are considered unnatural in Webmaster Tools have been handled in some way. A Reconsideration Request is only successful if all errors pointed out by Google get fixed. Moreover, the language of the application should be clear and polite. Applications have often been rejected because Google employees were insulted.

Processing time[edit]

Experience shows that it may take quite some time to process the application. Google asks to avoid multiple requests, since a single application is sufficient. There is currently no alternative to the Reconsideration Request. It is therefore advisable to provide detailed information in the application. Telephone contact to Google is not possible. If a reassessment of the website is done, the website will be re-included in the search engine index or ranked higher again if the search engine discovers no further violations. After submitting a Reconsideration Request you will be notified by Google that the application has been received. Then you should wait a few days or weeks.

Relevance to SEO[edit]

Unauthorized SEO techniques have led to penalties being imposed by Google. If SEO is being done, then you should also abide by the rules. If you have contracted an agency to do search engine optimization for you, it is advisable to monitor exactly what they do. If you keep that in mind, a Reconsideration Request is usually not necessary. But if it is needed, then any affected webmaster or agency should admit that they have made mistakes in link building and invest the time it takes to submit Google’s Reconsideration Request to bring the site back up in the SERPs.


  1. Backlinks and Reconsideration Request. Accessed on 03/24/2014
  2. Manual Actions. Accessed on 03/24/2014

Web Links[edit]