Three months ago I wrote a post about how I was able to get Google to refund part of the -2 penalty that they had imposed on the PageRank of Court’s Internet Marketing School. If you missed that post, you can find it here: Why Google Refunded My PageRank Slap. At the time I suspected that Google only refunded one of the two points that they had originally taken, and it turns out that this is probably the case.

About two weeks ago I was sitting at PageRank 4 and still very suspicious that I still had a -1 PageRank penalty. I was hesitant to request reconsideration with Google, because I had already done a request about this issue a short three months ago. I decided to do it anyway, and using Google Webmaster Tools I went ahead and did the request.

Late last night I figured out that my PageRank had been increased to PR5. I’m sure that some of you are still showing PR4 and that it will take a few days to spread across the world. Since it doesn’t seem that Google is doing a global toolbar update right now, this probably means that they got to my request for reconsideration and decided to undo the PR slap they hit me with.

John Chow Slapped Harder

In related news, I noticed early this morning that JohnChow.com is showing up as a PR3 in many data centers, down another point from the PR4 he was earlier this month. To give you some perspective, JohnChow.com was a PR6 site about five months ago. This shouldn’t surprise anyone because John continues to sell advertising that passes PageRank. John doesn’t care anymore because his blog is already very popular. I would highly recommend not following his example if you care about the future of your online business.

How To Request Reconsideration With Google

In order to reconsider any penalties they have imposed on your site, Google wants to know three things:

  1. What you did wrong. In my case, I was selling links that passed PageRank. I explained to Google that I was doing this at one time and that I know that it was a mistake.
  2. That you have corrected the errors. For me, that meant taking down all of the links I had sold that passed PageRank. I created a brand new advertising program for my site that only included links that didn’t pass PageRank. That means basically that all the links you can buy from me have nofollows on them and are intended for advertising only. I had to explain this to Google.
  3. That you won’t make the mistake again. Google wants to hear you say that you aren’t going to make the mistake again. That means if you got penalized for doing PayPerPost, you will have to say you won’t write any more sponsored posts. If you got penalized for selling Text-Link-Ads, you need to say you won’t sell them again. I have no intention of ever selling links that pass PageRank, and I explained this to Google.

Once you have properly done the request for reconsideration, Google will take at least a few weeks to get to it. A search engineer will probably then check your site to see if you have corrected the errors that got you the penalty in the first place. As long as you have corrected everything they’re penalizing you for, it’s likely that they will undo the penalty.