Manual Action on Bad Domain? Here’s What To Do

I purchased a domain from GoDaddy and after setting it up and connecting it to Google’s search console, I found out that it was used as spam previously. It was labeled as PURE SPAM. This was the first time I have dealt with a manual action personally. In Search Console, I noticed that the screenshot they had in the search console was a thumbnail of the spammy website. That let me know that either 1. – DNS has not propagated or 2 – They are basing their findings on their cached server.  So before responding, I waited a week to make sure DNS was set. (Normally 24 hours.)

During the week before I sent a reconsideration request, I did a few things to the website.  (I’m going to withhold my domain name.)

  1. I added SSL to this site.

  2. I had the site scanned by SSL Labs and Gravity Scan (both free) and placed the security badges they generate on my site in a widget area so they were visible on all pages.

  3. I added the WordFence plugin to the site to constantly scan for vulnerabilities and hacks.

  4. Added a privacy policy page

  5. Added an anti-spam policy page.

  6. Used MOZ to search for spammy backlinks and used Disavow Tool to discount spam links.

After implementing the 6 steps above, I was ready to write my reconsideration requests. I kept it short and to the point.  Google only wants to hear how you made your site better for the user. They don’t want to hear anything else.

Request for reconsideration after a manual action.

 

Site was purchased from Godaddy and had previous spammy content.

  1. It appears in Goggle Search Console that crawlers may be viewing a cached version of the website based on an old thumbnail DNS is fully propagated

  2. Added Anti-Spam and Privacy Policy

  3. Added SSL

  4. Disavowed any links harmful to the site.

  5. Site scanned, tested and protected by WordFence, ssllabs.com and GravityScan tests are public for the user and can be found here https://mydomain

  6. Web site does not contain or use the following if any have been used in the past, they have been removed. Automatically generated content Sneaky redirects Link schemes Cloaking Hidden text and links Doorway pages Scraped content Affiliate programs Irrelevant keywords Pages with malicious behavior User-generated spam

  7. Website is blog and is continually updated so this site is not considered a final product. Thank you for your reconsideration.

10 Days later I received the following message from Google.

 

Good news! Your reconsideration request has been approved and Google has removed any manual action on your site. Keep in mind that removal of a manual action doesn’t guarantee that your site’s ranking will increase.