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November 21, 2012
Google rolls out its algorithmic updates on a regular basis now. And it impacts a lot of websites positively, as well as negatively. Although the negative effect might be because of shady practices or spam action, it could also be a mistake, for which Google offers webmasters an option to file a reconsideration report. So if you think your website has been unduly penalized, or maybe if there's a misconception from Google's side, you can use this option. But some people have been submitting and submitting reconsideration requests, but don't hear anything about it for weeks, or even months. So how long does Google take to actually process a reconsideration request?
First of all, if your requests has not been considered for a long time, say like a month or so, then it's not normal. You should submit a reconsideration request again if you don't hear in two weeks or so. Sometimes, usually when Google is sending out a new kind of message, a lot of requests might get piled up, so you might want to wait a bit more. But if a month or two pass by without a reply, then its time to file another request.
You can tell something is wrong when you don't get a confirmation email right after you file your request. This means that maybe the request didn't go through properly, or there was an error on server-side.
Typically, there are three types of responses you can get from Google out of a reconsideration request. First, you might get a positive response about your domain, saying that your domain seems fine, and hence the penalty has been lifted, and you are now good to go. You can also get a negative answer, which means that your request has been disregarded, because there are still issues with your site.
And if Google is still working on your site, you will get a message simply saying your request has been considered. It won't say yes or no. This means, that Google has looked at your website, but hasn't found any reason to disregard your request. But while some part of your website was fine, the other part might have some other issue, such as a technical issue. So Google will take a closer look, and then let you know.
But if it is past two months or so, then that's bad, and you should do something about it, and notify Google. Usually, you can wait for up to two weeks before filing a reconsideration request again. Good luck with your reconsideration :)