Following on from my previous question - NOINDEX large number of pages to fix Google thin content manual action?

Firstly, If I noindex all pages causing the manual action, is that enough for me to request a review? Or do I need to make sure these pages are no longer indexed first? There are 100s of these pages so manually removing every URL will take a long time. I understand you can remove directories using Googles URL removal tool.. The site is built with Wordpress so the pages aren't literally in the same directory but the URL structure is domain.com/category/postname so if I put domain.com/category/ will that remove all posts as if they were in the 'category' directory?

Secondly, I have set my preferred domain in google webmaster tools to the non www domain (This is also set at my hosting so www urls are 301 redirected to non-www urls). In GWT crawl stats the www domain is showing a lot more indexed pages than the non-www domain. If i 'fetch as google' the status shows as redirected, so how is there such a high number of indexed pages for the www domain? Should I remove URL for the entire of the www domain and remove only my noindex pages for (the preferred) non-www domain?

  • 1
    More good questions! Just an FYI- the URL removal thing that Google offers is extremely slow. It is better to use the other options such as robots.txt (which is generally faster) or NOINDEX. I think before you ask for reconsideration, you may want some of your pages to be re-fetched and removed so that the big G can see there is progress. Remember that a manual penalty is done by a human and a human is going to review your site so there should be something to see/say/verify (I assume) before the penalty will be lifted. Remember to bow low, humble yourself, and offer a young wife for the king.
    – closetnoc
    Sep 15, 2015 at 21:35
  • I have already NOINDEX'ed all the pages I want removed (which is what the big G suggests). Good to know the URL removal is slow though, I guess it's not as much of a quick fix as i thought it would be!
    – Cai
    Sep 15, 2015 at 21:49
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    I have found this "Don't use URL blocking to "start from scratch" with your site. If you're worried that your site might have a manual action, or you want to start with a clean slate after purchasing a domain from someone else, we recommend filing a reconsideration request letting us know what you're worried about and what has changed." So maybe submitting a reconsideration request now isn't a bad idea
    – Cai
    Sep 15, 2015 at 21:53
  • We have had reports here that the URL removal thing takes a long time. For me, I had a web page from my firewall/router appear in the SERPs and the URL removal thing never did anything at all... so I used robots.txt and it disappeared within a few days.
    – closetnoc
    Sep 15, 2015 at 21:54
  • That is important advice! This is because there are a ton of metrics based upon ownership, reputation, and so on that can be reset. It is possible that a reconsideration allows the reviewer to reset somethings in the metadata that allows your site to perform better than it would have without such information. Great link!!
    – closetnoc
    Sep 15, 2015 at 21:57

1 Answer 1


I've just been hit with a site wide manual spam action on Google due to a significant percentage of 'Thin content with little or no added value'. I have a large number of posts that are affiliate products with titles descriptions and images all pulled directly in from a regularly updated feed.

Those affiliate product post pages you have should be converted to automatic redirect pages that point to the original product source page. Then it wouldn't matter if you need to remove the pages from Google index or not because then when Google reviews your site again, it will understand that you have acknowledged that you have once scraped content from another site to place on your own and by replacing those pages with redirects, you indicate to them that you apologize for causing duplicate content. Feel free to take some of this paragraph to share with Google, and they will likely index the remaining pages that don't contain duplicate content.

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