Losing a high-ranked position can have a devastating effect on revenues for an aptly-ranked site, and if you’ve been depending on Google as your main source of traffic, it can cripple your business. Some marketers may throw in the towel at this point, but if you’ve got any moxie as an entrepreneur, the first thing on your mind will typically be, “Okay, what can I do about this?”
As you may have heard, one course of action is to submit a request for reconsideration with Google. This is essentially when you go knocking on Google’s door and humbly ask if they’ll have another look.
Before Submitting a Reconsideration Request
If your linking practices have been generally ethical and you really feel Google made a mistake, it can be tempting to jump right over to the reconsideration page, fill in your info, and hit the key to submit with a defiant vigor. While your annoyance and frustration are understandable, don’t be too hasty.
Stop for a moment and take a hard look at your site. You may want to brush up on the latest SEO changes as well as check to see if there’s been a recent algorithm update.
Go over the Webmaster Guidelines. Have a look at your link profile. Can you see why Google might find your links spammy? Things to look out for include site-wide links, reciprocal links, blog networks, too many anchor text links, or forum links.
If your links are iffy, you should probably do some cleaning up before inviting a closer look and maybe even leverage the Google disavow tool.
When a Reconsideration Request Makes Sense
A reconsideration request is not always going to help you. What you need to understand is that this process is only meant to counteract instances of manual penalty. So if your drop in rankings is tied to a recent update of the Penguin or Panda algorithms, you’ll simply have to wait for the next update for any changes to go into effect.
On the other hand, if you received an unnatural links penalty, which is levied after a manual review of your site, this is when a request makes sense – especially if you feel Google made a mistake in penalizing your site or you’ve gone ahead and cleaned up the dirty links that were the problem.
Anther good time to ask for a second chance is when you just bought a domain or site that has been penalized due to the actions of the previous owner, though you may have to show indications that you’re new marketing campaign is more legitimate.
How to Submit Your Request
Google has a simple form you can use to submit your request. You can find it here. After going over their Webmaster Guidelines to double-check your site’s integrity, you can send them a message explaining the specifics of your rankings drop as well as any info about SEO companies you’ve used and what they did to rank your site.
Be sure to write a professional, error-free message, and explain what actions you’ve taken to rectify the situation. Also, be aware that Google holds monetized websites to a higher standard than others.