Wednesday, July 02, 2008
If your site does not appear in Google Search results, you might be understandably worried. Here, we've put together some information to help you determine when and how to submit a reconsideration request for your site.
You can follow along as Bergy (the webmaster of example.com in our video) tries to find out whether he needs to submit a reconsideration request for his Ancient Roman Politics blog. Of course, not all webmasters' problems can be traced back to Wysz (-:, but the simple steps outlined below can help you determine the right solution for your particular case.
Check for access issues
You may want to check if there are any access issues with your site - you can do this by logging in to your Webmaster Tools account. On the Overview page you'll be able to see when Googlebot last successfully crawled the home page of your site. Another way to do this is to check the cache date for your site's homepage. For more detailed information about how Googlebot crawls your site, you might want to check the crawl rate graphs (find them in Tools > Set crawl rate).
On the Overview page you can also check whether there are any crawling errors. For example, if your server was busy or unavailable when we tried to access your site, you would get a "URL unreachable" error message. Alternatively, there might be URLs in your site blocked by your robots.txt file. You can see this in "URLs restricted by robots.txt". If there are URLs listed there which you did not expect, you can go to Tools and select "Analyze robots.txt"—there you can make sure that your robots.txt file is properly formatted and only blocking the parts of your site which you don't want Google to crawl.
Other than the examples mentioned above, there are several more types of crawl errors—HTTP errors and URLs timed out errors, just to name a few. Even thought we haven't highlighted them here, you will still see alerts for all of them on the Overview page in your Webmaster Tools account.
Check for messages
If Google has no problems accessing your site, check to see if there is a message waiting for you in the Message Center of your Webmaster Tools account. This is the place Google uses to communicate important information to you regarding your Webmaster Tools account and the sites you manage. If we have noticed there is something wrong with your site, we may send you a message there, detailing some issues which you need to fix to bring your site into compliance with the Webmaster Guidelines.
Read the Webmaster Guidelines
If you don't see a message in the Message Center, check to see if your site is or has at some point been in violation of the Webmaster Guidelines. You can find them, and much more, in our Help Center.
Fix your site
If your site is in violation of the Webmaster Guidelines and you think that this might have affected how your site is viewed by Google, this would be a good time to submit a reconsideration request. But before you do that, make changes to your site so that it falls within our guidelines.
Submit a reconsideration request
Now you can go ahead and submit a request for reconsideration. Log in to your Webmaster Tools account. Under Tools, click on "Request reconsideration" and follow the steps. Make sure to explain what you think was wrong with your site and what steps you have taken to fix it.
Once you've submitted your request, you'll see a message from us in the Message Center confirming that we've received it. We'll then review your site for compliance with the Webmaster Guidelines.
We hope this post has helped give you an idea when and how to submit a reconsideration request. If you're not sure why Google isn't including your site, a great place to look for help is our Webmaster Help Group. There you will find many knowledgeable and friendly webmasters and Googlers, who would be happy to look at your site and give suggestions on how you could fix things. You can find links to both the Help Center and the Webmaster Group at google.com/webmasters.