Good news today for any site-owners who have failed to conform to Google's guidelines and have submitted a reconsideration request. Search Engine Roundtable reports that webmasters are receiving email confirmation of when a site has been reviewed:
Subject: We've processed your reconsideration request for [mywebsite.com]
We received a request from a site owner to reconsider how we index the following site: [mywebsite.com]. We've now reviewed your site. When we review a site, we check to see if it's in violation of our Webmaster Guidelines. If we don't find any problems, we'll reconsider our indexing of your site. If your site still doesn't appear in our search results, check our Help Center for steps you can take.
A Google rep has also confirmed this in a thread on the Google webmaster help forum.
Requesting reconsideration has often been a frustrating experience for website-owners, as many are unsure exactly why their sites have been penalised by Google - or how to fix it. The lack of feedback from Google (historically, there was no response from Google whatsoever, whether a site was re-included or not) has compounded this frustration. This is a good step in the right direction and at least let's people know if their site has not been favourably reviewed. It's also hot on the heels of Google's video advice on requesting reconsideration.
So, if you file a reconsideration request and get confirmation that your site has been reviewed, but see no improvement in search results (after at least 3 or 4 days), your site is likely not conforming to guidelines as far as Google's reviewers are concerned.
We ensure all of our SEO clients' websites fully meet search engine guidelines for inclusion and ranking. If you think your site may be in difficulties, and need to know the steps to take to regain search engine placements, contact us for more information.