Google have recently revealed that they will be making changes to the way that their spam team reject manual action reconsideration requests, pointing out that they know that sometimes it can be hard to understand the full reasoning behind a penalty being put into place and assuring the online community that they are taking steps towards a clearer rejection process.
Previously Google have been fairly vague when sharing their decision following an unsuccessful reconsideration request has been checked, leading to criticism surrounding their unwillingness to provide enough information for website owners to be able to take action specifically to the source of their problem.
Speaking at SMX Advanced last week, Google's Matt Cutts revealed during a question and answer session that improvements to the process were underway, allowing for Google operatives that are manually reviewing these cases to share further information with the owner of the site.
Quizzed by Danny Sullivan, Matt was asked whether Google had any announcements that they would like to make to the collective audience and although Cutts seemed to keep things fairly generic in his response, there was a clear message towards the fact that the reconsideration process was getting ready to be more transparent, highlighted in his response "we're building into our templates, an open text area so an engineer can explain more about the problem."
Although signs looked to be positive with that announcement, Cutts also pointed out that the engineer would not be forced to provide additional information in every case, instead saying "This is an option and won't always be used."
Google have made changes to their reconsideration process before, removing the option to ask for a reconsideration should your site not be under manual action, providing examples of problematic links that could have helped to trigger link related action and the ability to be able to see whether actions are sitewide or partially actioned against your website.
There were no indications towards what would cause an engineer to share additional information with you on rejecting your submission, however we can gather that these are now in place thanks to Matt admitting that one of these would be issued to a "very large site that's been penalised" but he was not prepared to share the name of that specific example with anyone, which is understandable.
UPDATE: Below is an example of the message that you will get should you get the additional insight from the engineer overseeing your request:
As you can see from the notes at the bottom of the notice entitled ‘A note from your reviewer’, there is a little more help being offered for those lucky enough to get it…
Image Source: here