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Google and the Sandbox Effect for beginners


· digital marketing

The Google sandbox effect is a hotly debated topic. It started out as a reactionary measure by Google in order to prevent spammers from creating sites, pointing a couple of link farms to them, and having them blow every other site out of the water; rendering the search results, useless.

Some experts argue that it doesn’t exist in the same capacity today as there are other algorithms that naturally eliminate black-hat tactics.

Sometimes a domain name in itself may be sandboxed. The cause of this is generally unknown. Google keeps its algorithms very close to its chest and figuring out why a site is sandboxed or penalized is nearly impossible.

If after months of effort you are not improving in rankings sometimes creating a new website and domain is the only way to recover. Many SEO practitioners believe that poor link building campaigns, black-hat tactics, change of industry, or other factors may play a factor.

Google Sandbox

It should be noted that if you are doing white-hat tactics and promoting your site without the intent to deceive you should not be sandboxed / penalized. A bad way to build links is to only participate in spammy links. This may include forum and blog posts exclusively. However; article marketing; social book marking, directory listings, and other avenues are still typically acceptable.

One area which may cause some confusion is the sandbox effect VS site age. Site age is an important ranking element for most search engines. A site which hasn’t been properly aged may suffer either from a sandbox effect or from not fully realizing the age bonus factors. It is impossible to tell how much value your site age may help.

The aging process includes a couple of different factors including: age of the domain with content in your target niche, age of inbound links, and aging pages. There are many factors which influence a sites rank; however all else being equal, a one month old site vs. a ten year old site will have drastically different trust levels.

Some SEO experts think of the sandbox effect as a limiter. For instance having a one month old site allows you to realize 10% of the value of your SEO {Search Engine Optimization} efforts while a one year old site may allow you to realize 50-75% of the value of your SEO efforts.

Competitive keywords which are naturally difficult to rank for may have an additional compression algorithm as it may relate to the above spam prevention measures. If you could suddenly rank #1, even for a week, for a keyword which gives you 1000 hits per day, you could make a lot of money.

I believe the sandbox effect and subsequent Google ranking to be a multi-dimension algorithm. No one, two, or three factors can explain it and most of the experts I’ve read do not explain it as I see it. Consider the following factors: Age, Links, Website Size, Content, Keyword Alignment, Structure, and Industry. I’m sure there are more but I believe these to be some of the most important.

Now think of each of these factors independently yet linked together as a multiplier. Depending on how Google ranks each of these factors gives you a certain level or multiplier which determines your trust or page rank (legacy).

Let’s say it ranks all of your factors on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the gold standard, Amazon, Wikipedia,, etc) I mention keyword alignment because without this you will never be ranked and while it may not be a sandbox factor it is certainly a factor for appearing in ‘any’ search results.

Check out this table to see an interpretation on how Google’s ranking algorithm may work and the sandbox effect which newer and less trusted sites may experience.

Example #1: You have a very old site but everything else is terrible. It was never updated, it is in a very competitive industry, you have no links, one page, and your keywords are all messed up.

Example #2: You have a brand new site with just a couple of links pointing to you. You put a lot of time into developing the content, aligning the keywords, and you are in a competitive industry.

Example #3: Same as above however you are not experiencing any sandboxing effect. Notice how much ranking power you gain.

Example #4: You have a two year old site with a lot of good links pointing to you (including .edu and .gov). Additionally you only have a couple of pages but the pages you do have are properly optimised for your keywords,

Example #5: You have a two year old site with a great link building campaign. Your site is fairly large with a lot of content. Your keywords are well aligned and structured properly.

To summarise the above no one outside of Google may understand what truly impacts your rankings in search results. SEO experts can only speculate and hypothesize through trial and error. However, a phenomenon called the sandbox effect has been observed in multiple different capacities including the age and trust of a site to any penalties the site has earned.

Hopefully this article will help you to understand what the Google sandbox is and how it may impact your site. and for more information and learning for about online marketing join now the top digital marketing course in delhi with 100% job placement.

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