How to escape Google’s ‘Sandbox’

Matt Cutt’s recent Pubcon talk on the infamous ‘Sandbox’ not only cleared the myth. The following discussion at Threadwatch, Webmasterworld (paid) and many other hangouts revealed some gems, summed up by Andy Hagans: it’s all about trust.

The ‘Sandbox’ is not an automated aging delay, it’s not a penalty for optimized sites, it’s not an inbound link counter over the time axis, just to name a few of the theories floating around. The ‘Sandbox’ is simply the probation period Google needs to gather TrustRank™ and to evaluate its quality guidelines.

To escape the ‘Sandbox’ a new Web site needs trusted authority links, amplified and distributed by clever internal linkage, and a critical mass of trustworthy, unique, and original content. Enhancing useability and crawler friendliness helps too. IOW, back to the roots.

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5 Comments to "How to escape Google's 'Sandbox'"

  1. John Adams on 24 October, 2008  #link

    We operate an e-commerce website and learned a bitter lesson about pinging Google….THE HARD WAY!

    Do NOT ping Google unless you’re willing to have Google act upon the presumption that your website is new, regardless of how old it actually is or for how long it’s been well-indexed by Google. Ping Google and you’ll go into Google’s sandbox, typically for around ten days. Don’t believe me? Try it…and watch your listings drop-out of Google’s search index.

  2. Sebastian on 27 October, 2008  #link

    John, since pinging Google services all day long doesn’t harm my rankings, I’m not convinced that a sole ping without other signals has the power to bury a site in Google’s famous probation quarantine zone. If that would be true, I’d run a pretty successful ranking funeral service.

  3. John Adams on 28 October, 2008  #link

    No, one ping isn’t going to hurt you. It’s the SUBSEQUENT PINGS that’ll do you in. I’ll tell you what, Sebastian, ping Google once a day for, say, a week. Wait a few days and then, if you log your visitor referrals, try clicking on those Google referral links and see how many of them still exist on Google.

    Understand that the sandbox doesn’t mean that the pages are no longer indexed on Google. It simply means that entering the usual search terms will no longer work for your pages.

  4. Sebastian on 29 October, 2008  #link

    John, don’t you agree that

    for each competitors, each URIs of competitors:
    ping Google daily.
    end.

    would be a way too simple negative SEO tool?

    It doesn’t work this way.

  5. malcolm johnston on 19 December, 2009  #link

    Does the sandbox still exist in 2009. Seems my new site did well at first (made page 1 in a moderately competetive field) then seemed to plummet overnight.

    [Well, there’s still a sandbox at the Googleplex, but it never buried new sites on SERPs.]

    Google's famous Sandbox

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