We see a lot of examples of Google Manual actions, notices of failed reconsideration requests, and timelines of recovery. But we almost never see examples of the reconsideration requests that are sent, especially ones that succeed. While all of the steps involved in a link clean up process are critical, effective communication of the issue is also a critical part of getting your reconsideration request approved.

Your reconsideration request needs to have five main elements:

  1. History of the situation: When did you receive your manual action? What was it for?
  2. How did you get here? What did you do wrong? You need to own up and admit to your mistakes, in detail.
  3. What are you doing to address it? You must explain what you did and document it. This is where a Google spreadsheet comes in handy as a reference.
  4. How can we be sure you won’t do it again? You need to tell Google you know you broke the rules, you understand why you’re being punished, and you won’t do it again.
  5. No, really, how can we be sure? Tell Google specific measures you’ve put in place to prevent this from happening… All affiliates are required to nofollow, all SEO providers have to pass a checklist, syndication partners have been fired, etc.

While this won’t be enough to get back into Google’s good graces (you do actually have to do the work, you can’t just say you did), a well formatted reconsideration request can be the difference between an acceptance and a denial.

Here are two examples of requests we’ve done that have been successful (click to enlarge):