Are reconsideration requests read by real people?

Are reconsideration requests read by real people? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Today’s question comes from Prague, Ihar asks, right now when a webmaster sends a reconsideration request, how many chances does it have to really be read by a real human? Do you plan to make it possible for webmasters to answer when they get a result back from Google? Great questions. So whenever you do a reconsideration request, if you don’t have any manual action by the web spam team, so there’s no way that we could do anything in essence because it’s algorithmically determining where your ranking, those are automatically closed out. So those aren’t looked at by a human being. But 100% of all the other reconsideration request are looked at by real person. We don’t have the time to individually reply with a ton of detail, and so, we do think about ways to be more scalable, and so I understand it might not be as satisfying to get, yeah we think you’re OK, or, no you still have issues. But, that is a real human that is looking at that, and generating the response that you read back. Now the second question was also interesting, do you plan to make it possible for webmasters to sort of answer when they got a result? Well, if we say for example, no, we still think there’s issues with your site, we hope that you will take some time and investigate that and say, oh here’s something that I could do. Here’s a way that I could make that better. After you make some more changes and try to improve things, you can always do another reconsideration request. And so that way you could put it back in front of that person, and hopefully talk a little bit about the progress. Don’t just immediately resubmit it and say, well I think you were wrong. You need to show some reasoning why Google should reconsider that manual action, if we’d already decided that it was justified before. We’ve actually been trying a very experimental program where, when we see someone who is doing a reconsideration request more than once, we’ll sample a small number of those and send those to other people to sort of say, OK, let’s do a deeper dig here. Maybe we need to send a little bit more info, or investigate in a bit more detail. It’s just one of the ways that we’ve just been experimenting, we’ve actually been doing it for quite a while, to try to figure out, OK are there other ways we can improve our processes, other ways that we can communicate more. So it’s the kind of thing that we don’t guarantee, that if you will appeal a couple times that you’ll get any sort of more detailed of an answer, but there are people reading all of this reconsideration requests. The one thing I would say is, just because you get back a reply that says, no we still think there are issues, don’t just immediately appeal again. You do want to try to identify the issues, and if it looks like you’re not doing that, then after while we start to think, well this guy’s hard headed, he hasn’t been making any changes at all to respond to the sorts of stuff that we think still has problems with the site. And then at that point, it’s not as productive to keep having that conversation. But we do absolutely try to think about how can we have a lot of response, how can we do better, and a real person does look at those reconsideration requests. And we have been experimenting with different ways to try to make the process even better.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


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