It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
This page in a nutshell: In certain circumstances, a deletion discussion can be closed with a result of "speedy keep" before the normal discussion period ends.
Speedy keep is the process of closing deletion discussions with a result of "speedy keep" before the normal discussion period ends, but without unlisting or deleting the actual discussion. This guideline applies only to "speedy keep" closures; the criteria for speedy deletion cover the circumstances under which pages may be deleted immediately.
Absence of delete rationale. Normally the nominator will provide grounds for deletion in the delete rationale, but if (a) the nominator withdraws the nomination, perhaps because of improvements to the article that happen during the AfD, or (b) the nominator failed to give intelligible grounds for content deletion (i.e. arguments that would support deletion, userfying or redirection, perhaps only proposing an alternative action such as moving or merging) and no new delete rationale appears in the deletion discussion. Exceptions:
If the nominator indicates that the nomination is procedural in nature, then the nomination is ineligible for speedy keep. This includes a "relist" result from deletion review, fixing errors in the nomination process, or if a user stated a page should be deleted on a talk page without actually nominating it.
If the nomination would otherwise qualify for close to speedy redirect then suggestions to redirect the page are treated the same as moving or merging.
The nomination was unquestionably made for the purposes of vandalism or disruption and, since questionable motivations on the part of the nominator do not have a direct bearing on the validity of the nomination, no uninvolved editor has recommended deletion or redirection as an outcome of the discussion. For example:
nominations which are made solely to provide a forum for disruption, e.g. when a contestant in an edit war nominates an opponent's userpage solely for harassment
making nominations of the same page with the same arguments immediately after they were strongly rejected in a recently closed deletion discussion
nominations that are clearly an attempt to end an editing dispute through deletion, where dispute resolution is a more appropriate course
The nomination is completely erroneous. No accurate deletion rationale has been provided.
The nominator was blocked or banned at the time of making the nomination, so they were not supposed to edit. In that case, the nominated page is speedily kept while the nomination can be removed from the log, tagged with ((db-banned)) and speedily deleted as a banned contribution. However, if subsequent editors added substantive comments in good faith before the nominator's blocked or banned status was discovered, the nomination may not be speedily closed (though the nominator's opinion will be discounted in the closure decision).
The page is a policy or guideline. The deletion processes are not a forum for revoking policy.
The page/image is currently linked from the Main Page. In such cases, please wait until the link is no longer on the Main Page before nominating. If the problem is urgent, consensus should be gained at WP:ERRORS to remove the link before nominating for deletion.
If a page is nominated for deletion on the wrong forum (for example, a template on AfD or an article on MfD), the misplaced discussion may be procedurally closed and the page renominated on the correct forum, with the original nomination, and any comments made so far, copied over to the new nomination. The closing comment should indicate where the discussion has been moved. This does not strictly count as a speedy keep, since the page still remains nominated for deletion.
Please realize that while you may personally dislike having a deletion tag on your favorite article/template/image/etc, the harm it does is minimal, and either the article and/or the tag will be gone in around a week. Also be aware that the speedy keep criteria, particularly the first three, are not to be used to express strong disapproval of the nomination: a rationale that you don't agree with is still an argument for deletion, is not necessarily vexatious, and does not imply the nominator has neglected to read the page.
This section in a nutshell: A "snowball clause" is not a speedy keep close, and the two should not be confused.
The "snowball clause" is a valid criterion for an early close, and is not subject to any of the other criteria necessary for a speedy keep, but it is not a speedy keep criterion itself. Specifically, discussions must meet specific criteria to be speedily kept. "Snowball closes" are justified by "Ignore all rules" and "Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy" as opposed to a specific set of guidelines. For that reason, "snow closes" may be controversial and additional care is warranted. Though the two may seem similar, closes under the snowball clause should never be closed as "speedy keep."
^Unless all such comments support keeping the article, in which case the discussion may be closed as a speedy keep.
When closing a debate as speedy-keep
When a discussion is closed as a speedy-keep, close the debate as you would a standard close, but use the result "speedy keep" instead of "keep". The procedure for administrators closing AfD discussions are laid out at WP:AFD/AI and for limited cases of non-administrator closings, at nominator withdrawal or here.