If you've successfully removed a manual unnatural links penalty from your site, congratulations! Seeing a "Manual Spam Action Revoked" message in Webmaster Tools is such an amazing feeling. However, quite often, when the penalty is revoked, the manual spam actions viewer still shows that your site has a penalty.
You can see your manual spam actions viewer in Webmaster Tools by clicking on "Search Traffic", then "Manual Spam Actions".
Several times a week I get emails from site owners who are not sure if their penalty has truly been lifted. If you've received a "manual spam action revoked" message, then you can be certain that your penalty has indeed been lifted.
In our experience it can sometimes take a few hours, or more commonly, two to three days for the manual spam actions viewer to reflect the true penalty status of your site. In some cases it can take up to a week. If your site had been deindexed because of your penalty, it can take a few days for reinclusion to happen. This can cause confusion for site owners who may start to wonder if they truly have had their penalty lifted or whether Google has made a mistake.
When you get your penalty lifted, part of the wording of the message received says the following:
You can use the Manual Actions page in Webmaster Tools to view actions currently applied to your site. It may take some time before recent updates to your site's status are reflected on this page and in our search results.
If you don't see this change within one week, then there is a small chance that Google has made an error. In a recent Webmaster Central Hangout, John Mueller answered a question from a site owner who had been waiting quite some time and still did not have confirmation of a penalty being lifted in their spam actions viewer. If you'd like to watch it, you can start at 55:10. I've transcribed the important parts below:
John said, "The reconsideration got processed. We saw you did all the right things, but somehow for whatever reason it got stuck on our side. We sent you a confirmation that the reconsideration request worked out, but we forgot to remove it on our side...Another reconsideration request probably fixes that more or less automatically."
Several times a week, I receive emails from site owners who are not sure if their penalty has been lifted. My advice is usually to just wait and be patient and you should see this in your manual spam actions viewer within the next few days:
However, if you don't see this within one week, I would recommend filing for reconsideration again. You don't need to say much in your reconsideration request, but simply say something like, "My manual spam action was revoked on [date], but my manual spam actions viewer still shows that I have a penalty."
If you have further questions about the manual spam actions viewer, leave a comment below and I'll see if I can help.
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