Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Google reject a Reconsideration Request for a non-English language site. (iloveseo.net)
24 points by Roedou on Nov 13, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 17 comments

The explanation for this is actually quite straightforward. Google fights spam in 40 different languages and we absolutely take reconsideration requests in many different languages, including Italian, French, German, etc. We've also improved our reconsideration requests in the last few months to tell webmasters whether the requests have been granted or whether the website still has issues in our opinion.

People have told us that they'd like to have additional feedback though--not just a "yes/no" type of answer. So we've been experimenting with giving more in-depth answers. I discussed the experiment in this video we published a couple weeks ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rsWc78dits#t=1m36s (watch from 1:36 to 1:56 or so).

Now you know enough to understand what happened in this case. This person, after violating our quality guidelines, had done multiple reconsideration requests. His English-language reconsideration request was selected to get a more personalized response, but then when the Googler started to investigate the site, the actual site was in Italian. That's what triggered the "this language is not supported" message because the person handling the case was expecting an English-language site based on the English-language reconsideration request.

What you need to know:

- we absolutely do handle reconsideration requests in lots of different languages, including Italian.

- we've also been experimenting with giving more in-depth answers to webmasters. The mismatch between the language of the reconsideration request and the language of the website caused this message to get sent, but

- we'll still send this site more in-depth advice. Based on the website's spammy linkbuilding techniques mentioned in the blog post, it sounds like they could use the extra guidance anyway.

Thanks for the answer, and thanks for clarifying he situation and the reason of the answers. Maybe adding a line saying: "You did a request for an italian site, so we kindly ask you to refer to the Italian reconsideration request procedure in Italian". Remember he is not a professional SEO, and these kind of "subtleties" maybe are not understood so fast, especially when you see your previous reconsiderations not answered.

Said that, as I was saying in the post, my friend is aware that the site have problems and I know he is working on solving them. So, let's hope he will adjust those issues in order to have his site graced, and that the strategy based on content marketing will be implemented.

Ciao and thanks again for the clarification

Hi, the purpose of my post was not to "justify" what my friend did. I, and he first, am very aware that he did things that were not allowed by the Google Guidelines or very low quality link building. Remember also that he is not an SEO and that he was simply following what "all the the world" was doing, especially in his niche. No, my purpose was to underline the absurd of the reply Google sent to his reconsideration request. Absurd because it says something like: "Ok, we have penalized your site, and we thank you for your reconsideration request. What a pity that we don't understand a heck of italian, so we cannot verify what your are saying us in english about it". So... Google penalizes a italian site (but maybe happened also to french or polish or other not english ones), but don't process reconsideration requests because that site is in Italian. As I say in my post, that leads to other questions. For instance: if a site is penalized, but the search quality team does not have "italian" support, those penalizations sound as if they were simply algorithmic. Or, if the site is flagged by italian quality raters (I'm sure they exist), how Google can then penalize a site just based on an human judgement if it cannot after verify the reasons of that penalization have been corrected because they don't support italian? Absurd.

Gianluca, we absolutely do support reconsideration requests in Italian. See my explanation elsewhere on the page if you want more details.

Would you mind adding an update to the top of your blog post or otherwise correcting your blog post? I'd like to debunk the misconception that Google doesn't take reconsideration requests in Italian, because that's just not true. It looks like most of your blog post has been written on the assumption that we don't respond to reconsideration requests written in Italian, and that's simply not true.

So english speaking folks working on behalf of a non-english speaking site have to communicate in the language of the non-english speaking site? How very quaint.

No. If you have an Italian site that spammed, you can do a reconsideration request in either Italian or in English. We'll process either language.

What I tried to explain in my other comment is that we have also been trying an experiment in giving more in-depth info to site owners. That experiment is currently English-only. Despite that fact, we'll still send a more in-depth reply in Italian to this website that was violating our quality guidelines.

At what point does it become to difficult to offer feedback? Might some English copy be hard to understand if it contained software, medical, or legal jargon? Why not just offer feedback that's consistent with the Google employee or contractor's understanding of the site, and say so in the response?

I think that's simplifying a bit much. If you read Matt's other comment, it is a function of this response being chosen to get more detailed information. The "more detailed" information is not currently supported for people who send requests in English if their site is in Italian.

The wording of the response was quite bad. The reasoning behind it is not. Personally, I cheer Google for trying to give more detailed information. Few things are more frustrating than the "We are killing your livelihood. No, we aren't going to tell you why. Live with it."

Thanks for explaining that. I understand it now. I wish they'd do a best effort attempt, and say so in their reply, if they don't understand the copy on the site instead of skipping over it.

It would be easier to make that case if that site owner had had "clean hands", so to speak. It seems you are faulting Google for enforcing its own rules.

I don't know how you'd get that from the article. He's very explicit that if Google turned the guy down because they thought he was sleazy, he thinks it would have been reasonable if inaccurate. The specific complaint is that Google has a process to get a second chance but completely excludes sites that are primarily in Italian.

You're very close. The blog post claimed that Google doesn't allow reconsideration requests in Italian, but the blog post was mistaken. We do allow reconsideration requests in Italian, as well as for Italian sites.

He's not faulting Google for enforcing its own rules. He accepted responsibility, but the fact that he's not even allowed back in because Google doesn't support his language is ridiculous.

"He said he was aware of the violations"

So, your friend willfully and knowingly violated the guidelines?

I'm not the author, so I don't know any further details of this situation, but as I understand it:

The Reconsideration Request is _explicitly_ for use by people who knowingly broke Webmaster Guidelines or (as in this case) who used the same (albeit spammy) techniques that loads of other people were involved with and then later realized that these were outside the guidelines.

How can one of the most globalized companies and one behind google translate not have support in your language? The point here isn't about violating some guideline its in the email that google somehow has no support for any italian language websites.

This is embarrasing for them, you think that a company as large as google and with this kind of money (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=GOOG+Key+Statistics) and one that's primary deals is search, social networking i.e. communication would have better communication channels, especially with end users.

I've known people to whom google owed ad money and simply didn't pay, google made it so hard to contact anyone that collecting was basically impossible. For adwords, a couple months ago a collegue asked to talk to a reps boss and she said that was impossible that only per written request would they be able to do that. But then this was from Germany (in English) and as far as I know google's only european support is Ireland/English based. It seems kind of odd really if you ask me and out of sync with the high quality of their products, or maybe this has only been my very limited bystander view of google?

"We knew enough Italian to punish you, but now that you've redeemed yourself, and written us ever so nicely in English to tell us about it, we don't know enough Italian to unpunish you." Let me count the ways I love thee, unregulated internet.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact