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Does Google's 'Sandbox' exist?

Discussion in 'SEO Search Engine Optimisation' started by miked, Nov 26, 2007.

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  1. miked

    miked Active Member

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    Having been a part of Acorn Domains and similar sites for a while now, I've seen varying opinions on this question, all from reputable people that appear to know what they're talking about, but it still seems up in the air.

    Some say the 'Sandbox' exists, others say it doesn't and that bad SEO/content is what stops sites being indexed quickly. Of those that say it does exist some say it's only for a short initial period, others think it's for a longer initial period, while still others say the 'Sandbox' can be re-entered any time major changes to a site are made. Still others say re-entering can be fatal. From personal experience I've had sites enter the Google rankings very quickly and others take weeks, with little obvious reason for the variation.

    Perhaps a discussion on this would provide valuable info for newbies and probably also people that count themselves a little more experienced, myself included.

    So, does the 'Sandbox' exist? If so, what does this mean for web developers? If not, why do some sites enter the rankings quickly and not others?

    Mike.
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. ScottJ United Kingdom

    ScottJ Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion;

    Yes it exists, however it doesn't affect you getting indexed or spidered.
    I would see it more as a competitive term filter, with a new site you can rank for obscure terms and non-competitive terms with low results/advertising.

    However with a new site you will find it extremely difficult to gather the trust to rank well for competitive keywords that are popular and well competed for by advertisers.

    It is more a trustbox than sandbox, so for some people who want to rank for 'pet sitting in little village town' it appears not to exist, for others that want to rank for somthing competitive then it certainly does stop them ranking for the money terms unless they can build enough trust.
     
  4. miked

    miked Active Member

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    Hey Scott,

    Hmm... in this article:

    http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/002809.html

    Matt Cutts seems to confirm the existence of an effective Sanbox, while not actually admitting it exists. Seems to come up with something not too dissimilar from what you describe.

    But reading around this topic to try to get a handle on it has raised something more interesting for me, and that's the way we react to Google. Most of the time, as webmasters building sites, we seem to treat Google as a bunch of ancient worshippers would have treated their volcano God... by making any sacrifice we can in the hope that it won't explode and rain fire and brimstone down on our mortal heads. Really, though, we should remember that Google isn't monolithic. They're still tweaking their systems, trying to be ever more accurate in their quest to produce 'pure' web searches. They don't always get it right: witness the amount of crummy directory sites of questionable use that seem to be high up the rankings.

    Maybe we obsess about them too much. Maybe we should ignore the 'sandbox' - whether it exists or not - and concentrate on building useful sites with great content. If we do that, they should make money eventually, and furthermore not disappear from the rankings when the next big upgrade comes along.

    Problem is, of course, most of us domainers are pretty short term. I know I can be like that. We want to make money *NOW* and move onto the next site... which isn't really compatible with the way we should be doing things.

    So: short term and quick bucks... or long term and *maybe* more money, but later. Quite a conundrum, eh?

    Mike.
     
  5. dougs United Kingdom

    dougs Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    long term

    Doen short and long........wish I had only done long now. The short was nice at the time, but a pittance in comparison to the long.

    Our long term stuff just keeps getting more traffic, with little work. The short just dies

    Do short only if you can do it on a massive scale
     
  6. SecNam

    SecNam Moderator Staff Member

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    thats my plan at the moment do sites for long term like http://www.locals.co.uk and http://www.directdiscount.co.uk etc then hopefully sell for a good return.
     
  7. ScottJ United Kingdom

    ScottJ Well-Known Member

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    Google has changed a lot in the last few years, so there are no real large updates or data pushes that we used to fear and know, they can still kick you out or dampen the effect of all your owrk in an instant if you get caught doing something they don't like, G is better at continual updating the effect of links/SEO & SEM.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2007
  8. uglygit

    uglygit Active Member

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    Mike ,

    There's some an interesting page here you may want to take a look at.
     
  9. miked

    miked Active Member

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    Hey UG,

    Thanks for posting... but you forgot the link! Could you repost, please?

    Cheers,
    Mike.
     
  10. uglygit

    uglygit Active Member

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  11. miked

    miked Active Member

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    Hey UG,

    Thanks for reposting the link.

    Interesting, I hadn't thought trustrank was so significant for Google. Had always assumed it was a system proposed by others as an improvement on pagerank. However it certainly fits into the way Google seem to be going (or at least, the way they say they're going): the high ranking of sites with quality original content that over time have proved relevant to users.

    That said, they're still obviously not there yet as is evidenced by the continuing inclusion of parking pages, directory sites etc high up in the search results for any given term.

    Touching on earlier posts, I wonder if we have to make a choice between short term benefit and long-term benefit? If trustrank is becoming more significant time seems less of a factor in determining a site's stay in what we call the 'sandbox', while other factors like needless duplication of existing information are more important.

    Perhaps the key to getting sites up there quickly is to find a niche that hasn't been filled and to fill it with quality content. Be first and be best... otherwise prepare for lots of work.

    Mike.
     
  12. ratboy United Kingdom

    ratboy Well-Known Member

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    That site is fascinating. Answers all the "myths". Thanks :D
     
  13. uglygit

    uglygit Active Member

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    I came across it after searching for why only half of my game site was indexed, one day indexed pages were 1590, then 1570, 1550, 1590,1540,1530 ,1550. Lady google is checking content against other sites for duplication, as a test one of the pages not being indexed was modified and 2 days later it was indexed.
     
  14. retired_member3

    retired_member3 Retired Member

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    I've had sites which wouldn't index. I then submit reinclusion requests and hey presto.

    I've not read all the messages so apologies if i'm repeating someone else!
     
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