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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru Nick Carlson's Avatar
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    Google's Sandbox is a myth!

    I read an article somewhere that made an argument against the notion that google "sandboxes" new websites. I can't remember where I found it, but when I do, I'll post the link.

    My question: Is the Sandbox just a myth? Does it really exist? Does google automatically penalize new domains?


    The reason I'm asking is because I have a great domain that I registered 3 years ago. I had a one page site up that basically said, "This site is still under development".

    Now, this domain would fit a new site that I want to build. However, it wouldn't fit it as well as a new domain that I could register. Should I build my new website with this 3 year old domain because it's out of the "sandbox"? Or should I go with a more fitting domain and now worry about the sandbox?

    Thanks.
    ncarlson.net - a programmer's dystopia

  2. #2
    ********* Genius Mike's Avatar
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    I don't think the sandbox is significant enough to justify using a poor domain. If the new domain is that much more human-friendly, go with it.
    Mike
    It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru Nick Carlson's Avatar
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    I want to use the domain for my flagship site. However, after some market research, I think it would be best if I went after a few niches within my market before attacking head on with my flagship site.
    ncarlson.net - a programmer's dystopia

  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru SimonMc's Avatar
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    A popular idea is that it is not sites that are sandboxed rather the links that point to the site. Links may be held back for an undisclosed amount of time before counting towards benefiting the web site.

    I would swing more this way in the so called myth because I have an old site that I have recently started link building on and as yet those links are not counting towards anything. However...I know that at one stage they will so I keep plodding on with it

    Simon

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru Nick Carlson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMc
    A popular idea is that it is not sites that are sandboxed rather the links that point to the site. Links may be held back for an undisclosed amount of time before counting towards benefiting the web site.

    I would swing more this way in the so called myth because I have an old site that I have recently started link building on and as yet those links are not counting towards anything. However...I know that at one stage they will so I keep plodding on with it

    Simon
    Could be true. But keep in mind, links won't effect your rankings until google updates it back-link data. This is true whether or not your site is sandboxed.
    ncarlson.net - a programmer's dystopia

  6. #6
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    For every example of the sandbox there is an example of it not working.

    So who knows. I personally don't believe the theory, but it is evident that sometimes something happens that delays ranking.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru SimonMc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    but it is evident that sometimes something happens that delays ranking.
    This seems to be the only fact in the myth. If only we knew what that something was. We could call it "factor SB"

    Simon

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy someonewhois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optimus prime
    Could be true. But keep in mind, links won't effect your rankings until google updates it back-link data. This is true whether or not your site is sandboxed.
    No, Google will pick up new backlinks relatively quickly - it just won't update it's output. Just because it doesn't show it doesn't mean it hasn't found it. Links WILL affect your ranking immediately.

  9. #9
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by someonewhois
    No, Google will pick up new backlinks relatively quickly - it just won't update it's output. Just because it doesn't show it doesn't mean it hasn't found it. Links WILL affect your ranking immediately.
    Just like PR. It seems not everyone knows that even though Google doesn't update the data made available to us every day. They are doing it on their end and it does affect rankings very quickly.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict
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    For every example of the sandbox there is an example of it not working.
    Do you know of any sites created within 6 months that rank for anything, anything beyond the least competitive of terms?

  11. #11
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    Only insiders can know the truth. If you make big sites with many pages to boost ranking of an already exisiting sites, it makes sense to limit pr transfer.

  12. #12
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    "Sandbox" is something that SEOs made up to explain their lack of success in the search engine rankings. They couldn't find a better explanation, so a theory of a grand conspiracy against their websites worked for them.
    Peter T Davis

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  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Cannot agree on that statement. The word "Sandbox" has been used as an excuse by many SEO's not even understanding the term or where it comes from. Someone posted on another forum the other day that his site was in the sandbox the last 3 years! lol I couldn't help myself, 3 years back SEO was a walk in the park compared to now...

    The sandbox does come into play as a site is placed under a kind of probation when it's new, however linking also plays a role. I had a site perfect SEO'd with about 300 bl's, this was themed propper bl's none reciprocal no show for 9 months. A couple of days after my site was listed in DMOZ, I suddenly came out of it and ranked #2 for my main keyword. There was no Google algo change at that time, nothing. DMOZ cannot be the factor because I have heard of sites being removed from DMOZ and then enter Google rankings.

  14. #14
    Non-Member Musicbox's Avatar
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    The domain name becomes popular by your services not by your domain name, so build and maintain a professional website.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast awrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferret77
    Do you know of any sites created within 6 months that rank for anything, anything beyond the least competitive of terms?
    My old site (since abandoned because of difficulties with the business partner - ie he did nothing, at all, ever and wouldn't leave) managed to get a PR of 4, after only 3 months in existence. What surprised me even more was that the only links it had pointing to it were a few from an anti-spam site and my sig here in sitepoint and a few other forums I post in.

    I thought that was pretty cool, but now I've started a different site and I'm finding it hard just to get googlebot to visit the forum site. Although it does seem to hit the mainsite pretty frequently.

  16. #16
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    My old site (since abandoned because of difficulties with the business partner - ie he did nothing, at all, ever and wouldn't leave) managed to get a PR of 4, after only 3 months in existence. What surprised me even more was that the only links it had pointing to it were a few from an anti-spam site and my sig here in sitepoint and a few other forums I post in.
    I am not talking about the stupid green bar, I am talking about rankings

    Do any of you know a site that is less then 6-8 months old that ranks for anything.

    Do a search , do a whois lookup on the top 10 sites I am pretty sure you will not find a site whose creation date is less 6-8 months. I know some terms take that long to rank for, but try some less competitive terms.

    I think there is a 'sandbox' filter etc. I think you don't get full credit for links and their anchor text, unitl they are after a certain age.

    I think you can get credit for new links quickly on a established site that already has link popularity.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast Chatmaster's Avatar
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    While we're at it can anyone confirm regular googlebot visits to their site after the first indexing!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chatmaster
    While we're at it can anyone confirm regular googlebot visits to their site after the first indexing!
    I have a new website and after adding the site in my signature, google started to spider it every two days, just as msn (in the first month). Msn ranks me first for my site name, but google displays me most of the time on the third or fourth page, only the last few days it started to change. I get 50 times more visitors from msn than from google. (not much btw)

    I think google just delays everything based on linking to reduce spam. 6 months is maybe the average of that delay for the home page of a website. But it will be a very complex algo I suppose, that's why I call it an average.

    To prove that I'm wrong, you need to show me a website that is less than three months old that ranks more or less the same (high) on google and msn beta. Not higher on msn. (no sandbox or delay)

    The question is not if you call it a sandbox effect or just a (link) delay effect. The question is if there is such an effect.

    Just my 2 cents.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot deregular's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferret77
    I am not talking about the stupid green bar, I am talking about rankings

    Do any of you know a site that is less then 6-8 months old that ranks for anything.

    Do a search , do a whois lookup on the top 10 sites I am pretty sure you will not find a site whose creation date is less 6-8 months. I know some terms take that long to rank for, but try some less competitive terms.

    I think there is a 'sandbox' filter etc. I think you don't get full credit for links and their anchor text, unitl they are after a certain age.

    I think you can get credit for new links quickly on a established site that already has link popularity.
    I think if it does exist its keyword dependant. I have a site that is less than 2 months old and its at 18th position. (for non competitive terms 500,000 results)
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  20. #20
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chatmaster
    Cannot agree on that statement. The word "Sandbox" has been used as an excuse by many SEO's not even understanding the term or where it comes from. Someone posted on another forum the other day that his site was in the sandbox the last 3 years! lol I couldn't help myself, 3 years back SEO was a walk in the park compared to now...

    The sandbox does come into play as a site is placed under a kind of probation when it's new, however linking also plays a role. I had a site perfect SEO'd with about 300 bl's, this was themed propper bl's none reciprocal no show for 9 months. A couple of days after my site was listed in DMOZ, I suddenly came out of it and ranked #2 for my main keyword. There was no Google algo change at that time, nothing. DMOZ cannot be the factor because I have heard of sites being removed from DMOZ and then enter Google rankings.
    I don't see any qualitative difference in what you're saying about your own site and the guy who thinks his site has been in the "sandbox" for three years.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Evangelist Expressweb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by someonewhois
    No, Google will pick up new backlinks relatively quickly - it just won't update it's output. Just because it doesn't show it doesn't mean it hasn't found it. Links WILL affect your ranking immediately.
    Do you mean that Link Development starts counting as we starts it . becuase as every one knows that google doesnt show all backlinks so can we assume that invisibly our links are started counting by google

  22. #22
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    the google backlink count is totally useless, I don't really see why anyone uses it

  23. #23
    SitePoint Enthusiast Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Peter, first of all the Sandbox theory didn't exist for 3 years, and three years ago our biggest complaint and issues was the Google dance. In the past 7 years I've been in SEO, this is the first time I see a fully optimised site out of the SERPS for 9 months.

    Also let me add this to my previous question. How many DEEP crawling has taken place on your new site in the 1st couple of months? The fact is it symple doesn't happen. Then suddenly like an explosion, a few months down the line, Google is all over your site.

  24. #24
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    No, actually it does happen. I have launched simple AWS sites and got 100,000+ pages indexed in Google within two weeks. Now, if there were a sandbox, don't you think AWS sites would be first in line to sit in them? As I've stated, it's just an excuse SEOs are using. Just because you believe it, doesn't make it the truth.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Guru Nick Carlson's Avatar
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    So again. We are without evidence that a sandbox exists.
    ncarlson.net - a programmer's dystopia


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