Google Moving The Goal Posts With Reconsiderations

by David Whitehouse
Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency

Chances are you may know of a website that has had a manual penalty, and if you’ve had a go at getting someone out of a manual penalty you will realise how time consuming it can be.  But what makes it worse is that Google are moving the goal posts constantly, and if you read on I’ll explain what I mean by that.

Image courtesy of Soccertackle.com

Image courtesy of Soccertackle.com

Recently Google started giving examples when a reconsideration request gets rejected.  Often these examples are not listed in Google Webmaster Tools, or in the download latest links/sample links.  Recently we had a situation that shed further light on this.

We Stripped It Down To Just 54 Referring Domains

A client came to us with an unnatural links warning We downloaded a links list on 12th August, we then manually checked each linking domain (499 in total) and marked them up: Remove/Disavow/OK, most were “remove” as it was one of the worst profiles we had seen so far.

After that we sent out removal requests and then gave it 6 days before submitting a disavow file and reconsideration request on the 22nd August. On the day of the request, we downloaded the latest links and worked out what % of links we had left, as a result of our efforts 92% of links in the webmaster tools download were either removed/disavowed/nofollowed.

Rejected By A Link Google Knew About For 2 Years

On the 28th of August we got our reconsideration request rejected.  Three example URLs were given – two of which still weren’t in Google Webmaster Tools or in any of the downloadable links lists.  The other one was, but get this - it was discovered in 2011!!!

So Google are saying to download the latest links to clean up your website, but then not giving you all the bad links they already have in Google Webmaster Tools and then they are rejecting you based upon this.  They are moving the goal posts, wasting people’s time and costing many businesses a lot of money.  What’s more we have seen examples where they have rejected reconsideration requests based on links that ARE natural, they just happened to be scrapers of natural news coverage (and were also not in the links list).

Give Us ALL The Links

Quite frankly, I think it’s about time Google started giving us the full list of links to check – so we can get the Internet cleaned up and move on, otherwise these websites will be cleaning up based on 3 example links each time – and I think with some sites having a lot of links, that might take some time!!!

Update: None of the links given as examples are in Majestic SEO or Ahrefs exports. So Google is the only place we could feasibly find out about them.

Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency
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