The Google “Sandbox” Effect

google sandbox

Step 2: The Google “Sandbox” Effect

Did you hear google has a Sandbox? This may sound like fun and I wish they did but it’s not all about sand castles and beach balls… What is the Google Sandbox? The term “Sandbox” was a way to explain why most new sites, after initially getting crawled (indexed) by Google, still fail to show up in the search results (SERP).

So what Gives?

google sand box effectWell, Google actually adds a delay to ALL new content and links added to any new website. Whats the reasoning behind this new rule? Google Decided to place a delay on all new websites making it so that now you have to “earn” your way out of the “sandbox” either through time or an increase in properly aged links. The last Google update has taken both Google Sandbox (the aging factor) and Googles TrustRank combing them to create the new era of Google.

Still lost? Don’t worry it will all make sense soon…

Lets put it this way, websites are now going to have a waiting period before it can start ranking within the search pages of google. The only way out of the Sandbox is to have your website gain links from relevant and or authoritative sources or wait the dreaded delay. Furthermore once your site obtains these links, those links must also be aged before they even can give your site credit or rank.

Here is a break down of the Sandbox timeline:

-0-2 months: Hello??

This is only the beginning and even the best of the best websites are stuck here no matter what they do. This is the first part of the Sandbox and Google honestly sucks all link power away from you. But, Google is watching every link built in this period which in turns determines if you will move to the next step.

-2-4 months: I see the light…

Now you may see your site pop up in the top 100 but only if you were able to obtain high quality links. Even though you are establishing your place on the web, Google still has you on probation and you probably wont see your self rank for any difficult keywords at this time.

-4-6 months: Google stats to see that you are sticking around.

So here is where your time starts to pay off a little. If you have been building quality links the past few months you may see your self start to ranking for moderately competitive keywords.

-6-12 months: There is movement…I can feel it.

Now your site starts to rank and you start to see your website climb the rankings.

-1-2 years: Acknowledgment

As long as you have been building links with trustworthy sites for the past year, your site should be gaining 90% of its rankings at this point. Google will start to look at you as a reputable site worth indexing and on your way out of the Sandbox.

-2-4 years: Recognition

By now your site should have a lot of old and trusted links which in turn makes you a valued member of the Google index.

-5+ Years: Google Alumni:

At this time life is good. With a history of building links and attracting new links Google now looks at you as a functional site within its index. As long as you have been building quality links and maintaining your site you should be ranking amongst other sites on the first page of Google with high ranking keywords.

As things start to make sense you will see the benefit of this update. One great thing I think came from Google’s last update is that its forcing not only quantity but quality in what it ranks and displays in the result pages. Googles main objective with this last update was to make the index as relevant as it can when people search. To rank well with Google will you want to make sure that you have both quality links and quality content displayed right on your site.

I have heard both good and bad things about Googles last update but personally I think they did a great job. Spam is a problem on the internet and this last update was geared to fight against it. Before the update you just needed links to rank and the more you got the higher you ranked. The last update also ensures your site is worthy because it assumes that only those that link to you will do so because it’s worthy. In the end Google is trying to make sure that all it’s search results return relevant searches and relevant information to your site visitors, and not because it will help artificially boost your rankings.

Next week we will talk about Google’s TrustRank and what effects it has on your site.