Submitting a request for Google to remove penalties applied to your domain is straight forward enough but it is important to be armed with a certain amount of information before you fill in the form. Google has recently changed the wording from “reinclusion” to “reconsideration” to reflect the fact that not all penalties result in a site being removed from the index, sometimes a site is just moved down a few places.
Here is what the official Google Reinclusion Request Guidelines state:
If your site has previously violated our webmaster guidelines, and you’ve made changes to it so that it now meets our guidelines, you can ask Google to reconsider your site for inclusion in the index.
In addition, if you recently purchased a domain that you think may have violated our guidelines before you owned it, you can use the reconsideration request form to let us know that you recently acquired the site and that it now adheres to the guidelines.
When you actually submit the form Google makes you confirm that your site no longer violates Google’s quality guidelines and that you know what the guidelines are. That part is simple. The tricky part is explaining why your site might have received a penalty in the first place.
Next you should ask your SEO company what tactics they have been using to promote your website. Use Yahoo Site Explorer to check where your backlinks are coming from and try to spot any spammy looking ones.
One of the most common reasons for a penalty in 2007 has been selling text links. You should make sure your site doesn’t sell any links and that it doesn’t have a long blogroll or list of related sites in the footer or sidebar. This is a common way of selling links and might raise a flag at Google.
Once you have found out why the site has a penalty it’s time to submit the form. I suggest being 100% honest here because Google has a lot of tools at their disposal and will be able to tell if you miss out small details. The idea is that you prove to them your site is legitimate and that the spamming was a mistake that won’t happen again. If you used a dodgy SEO company then Google wants to know their name.