What is the Google Sandbox Effect?

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    Many internet experts agree that new websites are relegated to a “sandbox” by Google.

    How Does the Sandbox Work?

    The Google Sandbox, though not officially recognized or confirmed by Google, is widely recognized by webmasters worldwide as a type of ‘holding area’ in which new websites ‘do their time’ while they prove themselves worthy of Google ranking. When Google deems the website to be worthy – important and high quality – the site is removed from the sandbox and will show up in Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

    Why did Google Create the Sandbox?

    In 2004, it is believed that Google’s algorithm banned new sites from ranking in search results. This was intended to protect the integrity and quality of search results and to discourage spam sites from reaching the top of Google’s results page quickly.

    How Can Websites Get Out of the Sandbox?

    New websites start with a page rank of ZERO. If Google deems a site worthy (quality, relevant), even a new site can show up in Google’s search results but may take up to six months or more (by doing all the right work on Search Engine Optimization – SEO) to achieve its full potential.

    What SEO Tactics Affect Google Rankings?

    Although it is not an exact science, many SEO tactics affect a site’s placement:

    • Your content is duplicated on other sites
    • If your server is down while Google comes to index (spider/search) your site, it will not show up after that until the next time Google comes to index your site.
    • Your webmaster does not keep up with Google’s algorithm, and your site no longer meets the often-changing requirements.
    • Broken links on your site will greatly penalize your site’s ranking.
    • How old is your domain name? If it is new, that will count against you. ‘Seasoned’ domain names are much stronger.
    • If your site goes after broad, popular keywords, it is best to change them to long-tail, narrow-niche keywords to decrease the competition and increase your site’s chances of being recognized.

    For more information, see Sandbox Effect on Wikipedia

    Do you have more tips to share on the Sandbox?


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