Sandbox Effect: What is the Sandbox?

The Google Sandbox DublinGoogle representatives have publicly denied its existence but some of their lower-level employees have implied it does exist. Search engine optimization experts swear Google uses this tactic but cannot prove it. What is “it”? The Sandbox.

The Sandbox is a term search engine optimization marketers use to describe the time their websites spend waiting to advance to the ‘grown-up’ table at Google. In other words, Google makes new websites wait in the sandbox until they have matured or added significant age to the website before they will give them a ranking.

A new website could be optimized perfectly and catch on at Yahoo! and Bing right away but will linger for up to eight months or longer at Google before gaining a top ranking. This imposed sandbox prison can last anywhere from one month to eight months, with few lasting longer, but the typical stay in the sandbox is six months.

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The Sandbox Theory Explained
When Google first began using the Sandbox, millions of new website owners thought it to be very unfair. These website owners had worked hard to choose the right keywords and content and wanted to rank high on the most popular search engine on the planet. They may have even grabbed a high ranking spot on Yahoo! or Bing, but they were now regulated to the bottom of Google. What gives?

A new website owner in the sandbox can blame his new home on blackhat practices. Some website owners who practice bad marketing techniques such as creation of duplicate links, buying bulk links or keyword stuffing are ruining things for the rest of the group. Google wants to make sure that someone who is engaging in one or more of these methods or other unethical practices has to wait a while before they are allowed to sit at a coveted top spot on their search engine pages. If a new site is gaining a lot of backlinks overnight or the link is being used to support an older website. If thisis the case, then these are fake websites and they do not need to be indexed and catered to through a Google search.

How to Get out of the Sandbox
Unfortunately, there is no way out of the sandbox. Many website owners have tried and tried to persuade Google to take them out of the ‘waiting pool’ of search engine rankings and allow them to swim with the others but nothing works. Everyone must do their time in the sandbox and do it patiently without complaining because throwing a fit will only bring more trouble to your door.
There are things a new website owner can do, while facing his time in the sandbox, which will help him prepare his website to climb the search engine rankings once his website is released from lockup.

Tips for Passing the Time in the Sandbox

  • Purchase expired or old domains – Google and the sandbox effect is targeted for the newer domains and newer sites. If you were to purchase expired or older domains you could launch your website on them and have an easier time with Google.
  • Gather good links and relevant content – once your website is released from the sandbox, good backlinks and relevant content will take your website to the top of a search engine. Make sure you have these on your website but obtain the links from trusted sources such as Fortune 500 businesses, CNN and the like. For research, trust sites with an .edu, .org or .gov as authoritative.
  • Go over your website and look at the less popular keywords and see if you are topping the search pages for one of those. A less popular keyword could mean more business.

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