What is the Google Sandbox?
The Google Sandbox is a phenomenon that mainly affects the ranking of young websites. The effect worsens the ranking of these domains considerably. A full definition of the Google sandbox is not possible because the search engine Google is silent about the existence of the supposed filter.
How does the Google Sandbox Effect show?
The Google Sandbox is noticeable when a website with a young age disappears in the index. This means that a domain that was previously ranked can suddenly no longer be found despite active indexing.
The targeted optimization of websites means that they receive good placements in the search engine’s SERPs. If this ranking is inexplicably lost after a few weeks or months, the suspicion of a penalty by the search engine is obvious.
It is assumed that Google selects new and particularly strongly optimized websites. The sandbox algorithm therefore works like a spam filter and, according to the assumption, applies to certain industries and their keywords. The Google Sandbox assesses the trustworthiness of the fresh page and initially slows it down on its journey to the top placements with a penalty. The phenomenon described can be found in forums or blogs, for example.
Google’s sandbox – where does the term sandbox come from?
In 2004, the term Google Sandbox established itself in various discourses as a supposed filter that punishes young domains. According to eshaoxing, the sandbox takes on the function of a metaphor. Google literally sends young domains into the sandbox to play until they are mature enough to be allowed to contribute to the older sites. Basically, this means that a website must first prove itself to be of high quality before it is granted the right to achieve the top rankings. The sandbox will therefore put the new website to the test.
Myth or Reality?
The existence of the Google Sandbox cannot be clearly proven. Google remains silent when it comes to the official confirmation of the said filter. So the criteria of the supposed Google Sandbox remain hidden – unlike the big Panda Update or the Penguin Updates. Equally controversial and shaped by contradicting opinions is the technical consensus on the Google Sandbox among SEO professionals.
How can the effect possibly be avoided?
The way in which the Google Sandbox works is not clearly proven. However, it is important to observe some criteria, especially during the start-up phase of a young website, so that Google does not penalize it.
The start-up phase of a domain is particularly crucial and sensitive. For example, the existence of one or more filters that penalize a link establishment that is too fast is known to the majority. This leads to increased mindfulness in the following areas:
- Legitimate link building with natural growth: It is advisable to build the links slowly and carefully. Growing too quickly risks a penalty. Too many backlinks damage the ranking in this case. Instead, backlinks should grow steadily
- High quality content: The content should be attractive and appealing to the visitors to the site.
- Authentic link structure & anchor texts: Avoid similar anchor texts. Textual variations are an advantage.
- Patience with SEO optimization: At the beginning it is important not to optimize too intensively for highly competitive keywords.
How long does a sandbox effect last?
Just as controversial as the effect itself is its duration. Statements about the persistence of the sentence range from three months to more than a year. If the ranking of a new website deteriorates for inexplicable reasons, mindfulness is required. During this phase, the site should be continuously developed.
Is there a test that reveals whether a page has been sandboxed?
It should be emphasized again that there are no clear indications for the actual existence of the Google Sandbox. Basically, certain indicators refer to the effect described. In general, unnatural or illogical rankings of a website indicate the Google Sanbox phenomenon.
A simple trick can be used to test whether a domain is affected by a Google Sandbox penalty:
It is sufficient to combine a typical keyword of the page with a keyword that does not make sense for the industry and the subject area. If the page then appears in the SERPs, this is a possible indication of the described effect of the Google Sandbox.