The Google Sandbox – what it is and how to avoid it
The Google sandbox is a term which has been used over recent years to describe particular websites which Google has supposedly restricted in some way to prevent them rising highly in the search engine rankings.
There is substantial debate about the effect and if it really exists. Some website owners have reported a number of effects which might be referred to as the Sandbox effect. These include:
• Sites which Google considers to have thin content which means that they have relatively few pages, duplicate content or have apparently been constructed simply to sell affiliate products. Google wants users of its search engine to have a good user experience and to find useful and relevant content so such thin sites quickly lose any ranking they have gained.
• Sites which initially rank well in the rankings but then do not have any new content added for significant periods of time may also suffer from being dropped in the rankings. No new content means returning visitors don’t get anything new from the site and their experience suffers as a result.
• Sites which have large numbers of back links which suddenly appear are often ignored by Google since it considers such activity rightly as an attempt to artificially inflate the importance of a site.
• Brand new sites often bounce around the rankings in a seemingly random pattern. This is often referred to as the Google “dance” and they normally settle into a given position after several weeks.
The real truth about search engine rankings and the best way to move up the rankings is very simple; create original, relevant and quality content which interests the users and encourages other sites to link to your site. Very easy to say but quite difficult to do but Google’s main aim is to provide a useful and valuable browser experience. In this way it can retain its position as the worlds number one search engine.
If you already find that you have been penalized by Google resulting in your site dropping substantially in the rankings or even disappearing altogether then you should know that the escape from the effects could take some time. Typically new domains may take up to six months before they start to rise again in the rankings. Don’t say that you have been warned!