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Are reconsideration requests a Google ranking factor?

Reconsideration Requests are indirectly related to search rankings, as they are an important step in recovery from Google's manual penalties.

They determine the difference between a site being reinstated in search results or remaining de-indexed.

Reconsideration requests play an important role in SEO when rankings are manually held down by Google, but calling it a "ranking factor" isn't accurate.

The following details the relationship between reconsideration requests and search rankings, and how they can get your site out of trouble.

Disclaimer: Reconsideration request is a ranking factor

All site owners should be familiar with reconsideration requests.

At the same time, you wish you never had to experience one yourself.

If you're processing a reconsideration request, the site you're using has been manually manipulated (i.e. a Google penalty)).

The site is now either demoted in search results or removed from Google's index entirely.

You may have heard that submitting a reconsideration request can help eliminate manual penalties and get your site ranked in Google again.

Yes, that's what they were designed for.

Site owners must submit a reconsideration request to recover from manual action.

However, submitting a request involves more work than it sounds, and if the necessary steps are not completed, the request will be rejected.

The next section describes what's involved in the reconsideration request process and how to submit a Google-approved reconsideration request.

Evidence: Reconsideration request as a ranking factor

According to google search console help documentation:

"A reconsideration request is a request for Google to review your site after you resolve an issue found in a manual action or security issue notification.

Reconsideration requests do not apply if a site has been demoted in Google's search rankings for reasons unrelated to manual action (such as a broad core algorithm update).

It is only reserved for manual operation or security issues.

As stated in Google's documentation, site owners will be notified if they are asked to submit a reconsideration request.

The notice will explain exactly what caused the penalty and what needs to be done to recover from it.

When all the issues listed in the Google message have been resolved, it's time to move on to the next step.

Open the Manual Actions report in Google Search Console and click the Request Review button.

The request is submitted as a .txt file containing a written explanation of the work done to recover from the penalty.

According to Google, a good request can do three things:

  • Explain the exact quality issue on your website.
  • Describe the steps taken to resolve the problem.
  • Document the results of your efforts.

Be as thorough as possible when writing your request, as it is your responsibility to demonstrate that you have done what is required to recover from the penalty.

After submitting a request, do not resubmit a new request until you have received a response from Google on the first request.

Google reviews and responds to all requests, whether they are approved or denied.

If Google approves the request, the fine will be lifted.

If the request is denied, another request may be submitted after further efforts to resolve lingering issues.

There may be no ongoing issues and the request was rejected because it did not contain enough details.

This is another reason why documenting your work is important.

If you fix an issue without telling Google in your reconsideration request, the issue will not be counted toward your fine recovery.

Reconsidering requests as a ranking factor: our verdict

Reconsideration requests are closely linked to ranking, but it would be inaccurate to call it a ranking factor.

In fact, there is no guarantee that a site will regain the same rankings as before after recovering from a penalty.

A site can, and likely will, rank much lower after a penalty, because the previous rankings were earned by violating Google's guidelines.

Google's John Mueller also said this when advising site owners to adjust their expectations after recovering from manual action penalties:

“Another thing to keep in mind with manual actions in general is that if you clean up the manual actions, it basically means that your site was ranked artificially in the past.

Manual operation somewhat takes care of this.If you clean it up so that manual action is no longer necessary, your site will be in a different situation.

It can happen very similar to what it used to be, but it can also happen that your previous position in the search is artificial, strong, inflated due to the things that manual action focuses on.

A reconsideration request has no inherent benefit to a site's ranking, other than removing it from the Google penalty box.

Extended reading:

Is reading level a Google ranking factor?

Is physical proximity to searchers a Google ranking factor?

Mobile friendliness as a Google ranking factor: what you need to know

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