What is the Google Sandbox?
If your web site has good rankings on Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines, but not on Google, it’s likely that your web site has been put into Google’s "Sandbox". This topic has gotten increasing attention over the last few months.
Basically the theory is stated like this; any web site that has a newly registered domain, or gets too many incoming links at one time, is put into the Sandbox and won’t be allowed to rank well in Google for six to eight months.
Sometimes, we also see a web site ranking well for non-competitive terms for a few weeks just before it gets put into the sandbox; after that, the site isn’t listed in the top 1,000 results for that same six to eight month time period. Although the web site will perform fine in other search engines during this time, Google doesn’t list the web site, sometimes not even in searches for the company name.
If you have a brand-new web site, don’t worry about this. You are not doing anything wrong – just be patient. This phenomenon is perfectly normal for almost any new site, or any site doing aggressive link building.
Why Would Google Delay the Inclusion of New Web Sites?
It appears that Google is doing this to protect its index. Lately, many webmasters have been trying to build sites (with no good content) as fast as possible, and linking those sites to their main site in order to improve the ranking of the main site (through increased incoming links to that main web site). This has filled Google’s index with junk. Google wants people to build useful sites, with good content. Too many people try to take the quickest road possible to the top of the rankings. While this may have worked in the past, it won’t work anymore. Website owners need to have a long-term strategy for their websites. This is what Google wants to see. After all, Google’s motto is "Do no evil".
What Can Be Done to Get Out of the Sandbox?
If you have a new web site, expect it to be listed in Google within six to eight months, as mentioned above. Add content to your web site, get good incoming links, and make sure that your web pages are optimized for Google.
By the way, Yahoo and MSN don’t have such a delay, so don’t focus on Google alone; also optimize your web pages for these search engines. This will allow you to have some free traffic to your site while you’re waiting for Google to release your site into the general population.
Can You Speed Up the Whole Process?
We have proven that by building quality links and adding content to a web site, the process can be shortened, sometimes cutting the six to eight month period in half. Some sites have come back stronger than ever inside of three months. The key is to make your web site, in the eyes of Google, a valuable and relevant one.
Dennis Miller, Blizzard Internet Marketing, Inc.