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  1. #1
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    Sandbox or No Sandbox?

    Hello Friends,

    I have been hearing the word sandbox since i step-in as webmaster -- Gurus have been scaring newbies by this word -- But does it actually exist or just a myth?

    I strongly beileve that it is just a myth there is no such thing that google dont let the new domain rank well for X number of months.

    I have some logics and an example against sandbox effect. Lets start collecting some feedback about it. I will put forward my thoughts too.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    It all depends on what you think the sandbox is.

    If it's a filter that you trip for gaining too many links too quickly, or too many with the same anchor text, then I could see it being real.

    If it's just a way of holding down new sites, that I have a harder time believing.

  3. #3
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    I think it is a myth, like so many things that are said about Google. People speculate and tell other people about these theories and in turn they will then spread those and pretty soon some people state these speculations as fact in some piece of writing and there you go -- Datura
    Ulrike
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  4. #4
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    There is a sandbox. Matt Cutts admitted to it. Now the vast majority of the definitions of what the sandbox actually is are just completely wrong and pure conjecture. Why a site is sandboxed and what that really means is still not clear.

  5. #5
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709 View Post
    It all depends on what you think the sandbox is.
    We are talking about what people used to believe, that google don't let the new sites get ranked well 'intentionally' for about 6-9 months.


    I do believe that the delay we see in ranking is natural, just as a new restaurant in a city takes time to become popular, and to gather more crowd than the established ones.

    And that delay depends on the niche we are competing it. So, you can not state that google don't let the new domains ranked for x number of months, because the delay is veriable.
    If there is anything like sandbox, that delay can not be variable.

  6. #6
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    Why a site is sandboxed and what that really means is still not clear.
    It can be another thing, like we can say about a penalized site that it is sandboxed (google is intentionally pushing it down for some reason). Its different than what we are talking here.

    Here we are talking about the effect about which people believe that google dont let sites get ranked for x months. We are referring it as sandbox, as most people used to do. We should not mix something which is unclear yet to the belief most of us have.

  7. #7
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vick! View Post
    It can be another thing, like we can say about a penalized site that it is sandboxed (google is intentionally pushing it down for some reason). Its different than what we are talking here.

    Here we are talking about the effect about which people believe that google dont let sites get ranked for x months. We are referring it as sandbox, as most people used to do. We should not mix something which is unclear yet to the belief most of us have.
    We are talking about the same thing. What makes a site "sandboxed" and what that actual affect is is still unclear. Some people say it affects when you will be ranked well. That's not a fact. That's all just part of the speculation.

  8. #8
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    We are talking about the same thing. What makes a site "sandboxed" and what that actual affect is is still unclear.
    When a site involves in spamming or such not-allowed techniques it get penalized, right? May be some people use the word 'sandboxed' for this? Possible?
    May be there is a snadbox (a jail or locker type) which is for spamming (criminal) sites, so that they dont come around and play.

    We are just talking that either google puts the NEW domains into that locker or not, just because they are new?

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    Have you read what HR say about the 'sandbox'?

    Basically their theory is that new sites may be subject to an 'aging delay' (especially for competitive searches). They call the damping down of sites that get too many links too soon the 'sandbox'. The effects of what they call the sandbox and the aging delay are the same, but the cause is different.

    Of course that was written ages ago, and this is just their theory.

  10. #10
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vick! View Post
    When a site involves in spamming or such not-allowed techniques it get penalized, right? May be some people use the word 'sandboxed' for this? Possible?
    May be there is a snadbox (a jail or locker type) which is for spamming (criminal) sites, so that they dont come around and play.

    We are just talking that either google puts the NEW domains into that locker or not, just because they are new?
    I'm sure Google looks at a lot of different criteria when evaluating sites. It's almost certainly more complex then what most discussion gives it credit for. New or old. There are way too many new sites that rank just fine right off of the bat so you can be sure it is not a blanket "penalty".

    The best anyone can offer is that some sites do not seem to get the "full treatment" from Google shortly after launching. The why's or how's is unknown and the focus of countless debate and speculation. And that's all any of it is: speculation. I have yet to see anyone provide any credible evidence about exactly what the sandbox is or how it works. And what to about it is simple: nothing. Just keep promoting and improving the site as normal. If it really isn't a spammy mess eventually you will be rewarded (hey, that sounds a lot like generic SEO advice. Hmmmm......)

  11. #11
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman View Post
    Have you read what HR say about the 'sandbox'?

    Basically their theory is that new sites may be subject to an 'aging delay' (especially for competitive searches). They call the damping down of sites that get too many links too soon the 'sandbox'. The effects of what they call the sandbox and the aging delay are the same, but the cause is different.

    Of course that was written ages ago, and this is just their theory.
    I read it now. He is claiming that our site may be affected by so-called sandbox.

    When we say that new sites may be subjected to an aging delay we actually are agreeing that there is no hard and fast rule of aging, which in-turns mean no sandbox.

    How much delay our domain need is totally dependent on the competition in that niche. Because of strength of already well ranked competitors its natural for a new website to take time to beat them. Even if the algorithm is neutral about new domains.


    For example, you can launch a new website today and try to get rank for 'googlio' -- I am sure most of us will be ranked within days. Where is the sandbox in this case?

    But on the other hand if you start competing for 'google' I am sure you cant get ranked on first page for life. In this case that so-called sandbox is there.

    So, actually -- all the delay in ranking is natural, totally depending on the competition.

    He says:
    6 months is the earliest we've had anyone report normal rankings for a new site. Some sites are 8-9 months old and still repressed.
    I totally disagree with him. I registered a domain name on 6th june 2006, launched website on 16th or 17th july 2006, got some dozen links from topsites same day. And i was #1 for my primay keyword on google on 19th july getting me 300-500 uniques a day from google search -- just after 2-3 days of launch. That was because competetion was quite low and already ranked competetors was not SO strong.

    I believe that, Google's algorithm is neutral about new websites and in no-way push the new sites down.

    He also says:
    Sandbox: Sites that buy lots and lots of links or use link networks or any other linking schemes seem to be affected by a longer term "sandbox" effect where the links seem to be discounted and don't propel the site to the top of the SERP's as we have seen happen in the past.
    Wrong. IMO no off-page factor can have negative impact on your ranking. Whatever it is.

    And just for the record -- I used an automatic link exchange system for the above mentioned website too. Getting me some hundred reciprocal links on the very same day.
    Google did not mind that abrupt rise in links, worst is all of them were reciprocal.

  12. #12
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    he best anyone can offer is that some sites do not seem to get the "full treatment" from Google shortly after launching. The why's or how's is unknown and the focus of countless debate and speculation. And that's all any of it is: speculation. I have yet to see anyone provide any credible evidence about exactly what the sandbox is or how it works. And what to about it is simple: nothing. Just keep promoting and improving the site as normal. If it really isn't a spammy mess eventually you will be rewarded (hey, that sounds a lot like generic SEO advice. Hmmmm......)
    Exactly

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Here is a sandbox example:

    I created a new site last year and immediately got some great incoming links. Some purchased, some traded, many natural.

    Google sent me about 40K visitors in the first month! It was nice.

    The second month they caught on to the fact that the site was new and we received 1K visitors in the second month.

    I feel that the sandbox is strictly a 'time delay'. So many new websites popping up every day and disappearing in under a year. It keeps google efficient to not pay them too much attention until the site proves it has staying power.

    Ryan
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast Chris Auman's Avatar
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    I'm sure why Google would limit a new site in the results just because it's new. Their goal is to provide the best results for a search query so who cares if the site is new or not? What you need to do is optimize your site properly. I just wonder if the "sandbox" is nothing more than inexperienced webbies screwing up something on their pages or links that gets them knocked out and not some big conspiracy at Google?

  15. #15
    Non-Member thetafferboy83's Avatar
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    I would speculate [just for fun] that the Google sandbox is in place so it gives Google a chance to examine the link velocity of sites. i.e. does it gain 5000 links in a week then lose 4,500 in the next week? Comparing link velocity to its huge database should be able to weed out spam/black hat activity fairly quickly. I think it is a good way to stop "quick win" black hatters, making it too much effort for the layman.


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