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The legend of Google Sandbox

There is nothing in the world of SEO so entirely mind-grabbing and so mysterious as the Google Sandbox. But really, is the box as black as it is painted?

Nope. Put simply, there is no such a thing as Google Sandbox.

Instead, there are several algorithmical factors that prevent websites from showing up in the SERPs for competitive terms right after their launch.

Such factors may as well be:

  • your domain age
  • the number and quality of incoming links (quality is more important than quantity, of course)
  • your keyword competitiveness
  • incoming links age

The only thing you can do is to:

  • focus on writing unique, quality content for your visitors
  • promote your website on relevant websites by providing value there
  • engage only in ethical website promotion opportunities (such as getting linked to great content on your site [natural linking], partner with related websites)
  • focus on other traffic avenues, such as referrals, advertising, promotions, press releases, articles, etc.

While affected by the 'sandbox' effect, your site can rank well if it is in a non-competitive industry or for non-competitive phrases. Your pages are filtered from the SERPs if the search query is competitive enough. That's why, within at least six months since the site launch, you'll be found by really obscure search phrases.

Probably, the fact that some (most, maybe) see a significant boost in traffic right after the first six months have passed as sprung the gossip about the Sandbox. In reality, though it may well be that a new domain (or a domain with a new registrar) isn't valued as high as a domain 6 or 12 months old. So in the case of the sandbox effect, you'd rather simply bid your time and focus on improving your website.

That being said, you can find keyword phrases that you can rank well even in the Sandbox. For instance, it can be a phrase, related to your business, but not the one, which would be associated with a lot of money. I know this is a vague description, but you'll know when you start considering which keyphrase to use on your website.

Also, if your site is so interesting and people keep searching for you, Google may yield and show you in the SERPs on the demand of your visitors (Google tracks SERPs behaviour as well).
Moreover, if your site is related to a good cause (from Google's perspective, of course), you may find it in the SERPs as well.

Basically, don't worry about getting up in Google and keep on working. If you do it right and provide value, you'll be fine.


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