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I have a site that's got two manual penalties in Google Webmaster Tools: one for "pure spam" and one for "user-generated spam" (no link penalties currently - this is just for on-site stuff).

Pure spam:

Pages on this site appear to use aggressive spam techniques such as automatically generated gibberish, cloaking, scraping content from other websites, and/or repeated or egregious violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

User-generated spam:

Pages from this site appear to contain spammy user-generated content. The problematic content may appear on forum pages, guestbook pages, or user profiles.

In the example URLs for the "pure spam" penalty, every single URL listed is in the site's /blogs/ directory. That entire directory and every URL in it has been giving a 410 response code for more than a year. I have also done a site: search to confirm that no URLs in this directory are remaining in Google's index.

I've submitted two reconsideration requests asking that the "pure spam" penalty be lifted, explaining that I've 410ed the entire directory in an effort to eliminate entirely all the spam on the site.

The first reconsideration request was on 6 October 2013 and eventually I got this message back on 24 October 2013:

We received a reconsideration request from a site owner for (site).

We've now reviewed your site. When we review a site, we check to see if it's in violation of our quality guidelines, and revoke or adjust manual spam actions applied to the site if appropriate. You can use the Manual Actions page in Webmaster Tools to view actions currently applied to your site.

If your site isn't appearing in Google search results, or if it's performing more poorly than it once did, check out our Help Center to identify and fix potential causes of the problem.

This led me to believe that nobody at Google actually read my reconsideration request and checked to verify that I had cleaned up the site.

So I followed up with a new reconsideration request on 18 November 2013.

Sure enough, on 12 December 2013 I received this message again from Google:

We received a reconsideration request from a site owner for (site).

We've now reviewed your site. When we review a site, we check to see if it's in violation of our quality guidelines, and revoke or adjust manual spam actions applied to the site if appropriate. You can use the Manual Actions page in Webmaster Tools to view actions currently applied to your site.

If your site isn't appearing in Google search results, or if it's performing more poorly than it once did, check out our Help Center to identify and fix potential causes of the problem.

Can anybody tell me what it will take to get someone at Google to read my reconsideration request instead of just waiting a few weeks and then sending me boilerplate autoreplies?

In particular, speaking just about the "pure spam" penalty, I'd like one of two things to happen: either give me a list of example URLs that are affected that aren't returning a 410 status code, or lift the penalty.

ps. If it would be helpful, I'd be happy to share the site's domain and the full text of both reconsideration requests with anyone at Google or with anyone else who can help.

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2  
Not all penalties require reconsideration requests.... Can you edit your question and include the Webmaster messages you received please. –  bybe Dec 17 '13 at 20:43
    
I added details from Webmaster Tools explaining what how Google has communicated what "pure spam" and "user-generated spam" mean. –  gesher Dec 17 '13 at 21:55

2 Answers 2

I'd double-check the entire site. Use crawling and SEO tools to see if there's anything awry: maybe you have been hacked, maybe the site is keyword stuffed, maybe your www URLs aren't redirecting correctly.

Check every link in your sitemap.

There are free and paid tools out there that can help with this.

Beyond that, response code 410 is a dead end. Perhaps a 301 redirect of all those pages to a high-quality page that can be indexed is a better way to go...even better if you include a message that is only visible to traffic via the re-direct that explains why they didn't land on the page they expected.

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I'm sure nobody reads those reconsideration requests! I've submitted 10 of them now over a period of 6 months. Mine is due to high volumes of spammy inbound links.

I've disavowed 313 domains, each response will list just two domains, some of which are forum posts I made with a link in the signature, it's really a stretch to class some of these as spam.

Each time I will extrapolate from the examples and use a parser to loop through my CSV list of links and disavow anything similar.

Here is the standard reply I'm getting:

Google has received a reconsideration request from a site owner for mydomain.com

We've reviewed the links to your site and we still believe that some of them are outside our quality guidelines. Sample URLs:

{Link example 1 here}

{Link example 2 here}

Please correct or remove all inorganic links, not limited to the samples provided above. This may involve contacting webmasters of the sites with the inorganic links on them. If there are links to your site that cannot be removed, you can use the disavow links tool. Keep in mind that simply disavowing links will not be enough to make a reconsideration request successful; we will also need to see good-faith efforts to remove a large portion of inorganic links from the web wherever possible.

Removing links takes time. Due to the large volume of requests we receive, and to give you a better chance of your next reconsideration request being successful, we won't review another request from this site for a few weeks from now. We recommend that you take the necessary time to remove unnatural backlinks to your site, and then file another reconsideration request.

For more specific information about the status of your site, visit the Manual Actions page in Webmaster Tools. From there, you may request reconsideration of your site again. If you have additional questions, please visit our Webmaster Help Forum.

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There is a big difference to Google between signature links like "My site for blue wigets" and "My personal website: example.com/"; –  Stephen Ostermiller Jan 22 at 12:00
    
True. I didn't realise they were so sophisticated in differentiating the two. I have an example of what you mentioned here: webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/57247/… –  QF_Developer Jan 22 at 14:42

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