Have you ever heard of Google sandbox or the sandbox effect? If you haven’t, then worry not. Google sandbox is widely rumored as a way in which Google filters and prevents new websites from ranking in Google’s top result. Is this rumor true? The answer is yes!
If you haven’t, then worry not. Google sandbox is numerously rumored as a way in which Google filters and prevents new websites from ranking in Google’s top result. Is this rumor true?
Although Google has never admitted such a thing, Google sandbox is real.
I am sure you might have noticed that if you have a new website. You can view the sandbox effect as a form of probation for a new website.
Just like how companies subject new employees to probation, Google does the same for new sites. A few weeks or months after opening a new website, don’t expect it to appear directly in Google’s top search. Even after continually improving and updating content, it might take longer to be noticed by the search engine.
This is a good indication that you have been sandboxed.
Why Does Google Sandbox New Websites?
Although you might not find this on Google’s website, several reasons make Google put new sites on probation or sandboxed.
1. To Keep Its Clients From Spam And Untrustworthy Websites
As a website publisher, you might view sandboxing as a way to punish newcomers. But on the clients’ side, it is a positive way of preventing scammers and misleading content.
If spam websites are ranked at the top, Google clients will not get credible or quality content from other trustworthy sites.
2. To Test The Credibility Of Websites
Google subjects new websites on probation to test and verify their credibility. The sandboxing duration determines who is a serious publisher and who is a spammer.
For those publishers who believe in their content, they are likely to continue pressing on even when they are not among the top ranks. Google believes that a new website might not provide accurate or credible content when compared to an existing site with huge traffic.
New websites should take time and grow before they can start competing with the existing sites.
3. Provide Fair Competition Of Google Ranks
Google uses its form of an algorithm to monitor and control fair competition of websites. New websites tend to invest more on backlinks to improve their search ranking speedily.
If Google is to use the backlinks only, new websites will outdo the older credible sites. To guarantee fair play, they use their algorithm to restrict new websites from appearing on the top ranks even if they may have numerous backlinks.
History Of Google Sandbox
The sandbox effect started way back in 2004. The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professionals noticed that their new websites ranked poorly in Google search even after employing their best efforts. They further compared this to other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing and noticed a significant difference.
Their websites in Yahoo and Bing were doing great. On the other hand, Google ranking never improved for the first few months. It took several months for their hard effort to start bearing fruit.
In 2014 SEO professionals also noticed that it was even more difficult to rank a new website in Google than in other search engines.
If you have a new website, I am sure you can also attest that it is not easy earning a good rank for your site on google. It will take a couple of months or a year to start ranking among the top sites.
Does Google Admit The Existence Of Sandboxing?
If you search for ‘google sandboxing’ on google, you will not find any resource from Google admitting that it exists. Google founders have, on numerous occasions, dismissed the existence of sandboxing.
However, they are keen on noting that they have algorithms that test how new websites fit with the other existing sites.
Even though Google might deny the term sandboxing, their algorithms do the same thing, which we are referring to as Google sandboxing.
How Google Sandboxes New Websites
Google sandboxing does not happen immediately. Your website goes online, and for the first few days or weeks, it might appear among the top-ranked sites. The Googlebot crawls and identifies new sites using Inbound Link from other sites.
Crawling uses hyperlinks from other sites to identify a new site. Once this happens, your site is identified for scrutiny and consideration. If there are violations identified within your new site, the Googlebot will flag your site forwarding it to the restricting algorithms for sandboxing.
Once you are sandboxed, you will only be able to find your website in google search using the domain name.
Your website is unlikely to be listed for any of its keywords. The search engines will also avoid showing other related pages to your website and will only show your home index.
Is It possible To Avoid Sandboxing Before It Happens?
You can avoid sandboxing for your website before it happens. Googlebot can miss your webpage when crawling and looking for newcomers. The Google algorithm is quick to flag out newcomers who have an exponential kind of rank and traffic.
You can apply these steps to help you avoid being spotted. However, you should note that these steps do not always guarantee results and are a guide that has helped several publishers in avoiding sandboxing:
Prefer A Gradual Growth Process Rather Than Growing Fast
As earlier noted, the algorithms flag out those new sites that have a high initial rank.
It is, therefore, wise to plan a gradual growth for your site rather than pouring out huge resources at once.
Avoid Buying Or Sourcing Many Backlinks In A Short Period
While backlinks are essential in improving your website, they can also lead to its failure.
Google is sensitive to backlinks and may flag these backlinks, terming them as unnatural.
The numerous backlinks poured at once will improve your rank, making the Googlebot notice and flag your new site.
Don’t Over-Optimize Your Content With Keywords
The keyword forms a significant part of building your website. Do not be tempted to include too many keywords in your content to optimize your website.
The keywords in your content should not exceed 2% for a 1000 words and should not be repeated more than 20 times.
Googlebot will likely flag your website if you exceed this safe threshold.
Create High-Quality Content Related To Your Website
Quality is not negotiable if you want to grow your site. Google is keen on noticing the kind of content you provide to its clients.
By creating great content, you are assured that there will be no need for suspicion.
Great content also gets you natural backlinks, which helps build your site.
Purchase An Old And Active Website
Did you know that you can buy an already existing website? If you didn’t, now you do. Active websites that have been existing for over a year can help you avoid being sandboxed.
You can purchase and customize the old site to suit your preference. The old site will have a lower chance of being sandboxed by Google.
Must Google Sandbox My New Website If I Rank High Within A Short Duration?
The answer to this question is no! As we earlier pointed out, Google has not made an official declaration about sandboxing. It is therefore not a must that your new high ranking website gets sandboxed.
If you have genuinely acquired enough traffic and ranks without any violation of their term, then you don’t need to worry about being sandboxed.
How Long Does It Take For The Sandbox Effect To Elapse?
Since Google does not officially acknowledge sandboxing, it is entirely open to a few weeks, months, or up to a year. However, the duration of sandboxing can be altered depending on what the publisher does to improve the website.
This means that you are not entirely helpless if your site has been sandboxed. You should not lose patience or give up in case you are in this situation. We are here to offer you all the help you need.
Let’s see some of the tips you can use to ensure you limit the duration of sandboxing.
How To Limit And Minimize The Duration Of Google Sandboxing
Sandbox can be a difficult thing to handle, especially as someone with a new website.
Even though you may have tried to avoid being sandboxed, you might find your site sandboxed by google.
It takes some time to recover from this effect, but the recovery depends on your subsequent steps. You can opt to lessen the sandboxed period by following these suggestions.
Get Indexed By Google
In case you have an operational website, it is recommended that you register and get indexed by google. Indexing a website with google is a process where you notify Google about your new website for them to visit and scrutinize it.
After informing Google that you would want to be indexed, a Googlebot is tasked with analyzing the meaning of your content and stores the information in the Google index.
It is typically a simple, free process, but crucial for you to undertake.
In some Instances, Google might conduct indexing even without your permission when robots block your website. It is important to request indexing every time you add new content to your website.
There are several ways you can request Google to index your site. Here is one of the simplest way you can use to get fast result:
• Open the Google Search Console
• Browse over to the URL inspection tool
• Add the link address of the content that you want Google to index.
• Google will verify the link you have added
• Move to the final step and click “Request indexing” tab
This simple step will help in notifying Google about your need to be indexed. It might take a while before they execute the request, but they will surely check your website and approve it for indexing if it is relevant and meaningful.
Build Traffic For Your website
In the early days of the website creation, getting traffic was important. This is because it was easy to get in and out of the sandbox effect. Google tends to classify traffic with quality. If your website has huge traffic, there is a likelihood of a high quality of content, which makes clients come back for more.
There are several ways you can build traffic for your website. The use of the existing social media has helped many web publishers and SEO professionals accumulate traffic within a very short time.
You can market and advertise your content by posting in various groups on Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, and even Youtube by creating related videos. This is a reliable way that will create many direct traffics as many viewers will reach out to the website hence building a strong backlink.
Google does not penalize you for advertising. You can use Google itself to run genuine ads or social media. The ads you put will allow google to gain trust in the traffic of your content.
Create Quality Content
Creating quality content for your client will always be significant in improving your website.
Even when your website is not sandboxed, you should deliver quality content. As we earlier pointed out, quality is non-negotiable.
Quality content will get you natural backlinks that can be trusted by Google and will help you in improving your rank. When a website is new, its difficult for google to believe in its content and its originality. Google needs content that is trustworthy and is beneficial to users.
To achieve this, the content should be user friendly, have referral links, and come from a place of authority. From this point, google will have your data and can easily defend your website hence ranking higher.
Get Rid Of And Disavow Bad Backlinks
While backlinks remain an essential part of improving your website, bad backlinks can lead to sandboxing of your website. Google will flag all unnatural and spammed backlinks that your website has.
When this happens, your website will automatically be sandboxed. You should always be careful when creating or sourcing backlinks for your website to avoid violating Google’s policy.
In other instances, your website can get an SEO attack from spammers who might intentionally want to hurt and lower your site ranking. You should monitor and disavow all these bad backlinks associated with your website.
Disavowing a backlink simply means you disown or you reject to be associated with that backlink. The disavowing process is easily accessible from the Google search console. All you need is to generate a list of the links that you need to disavow and upload it using the disavow tool.
When a website is sandboxed, some individuals frantically begin to look for possible shortcuts to get back into high rank. Well, you should never try such methods. Many are tempted to aggressively create backlinks and gather traffic using any means in their possession.
This method gets them even into more profound problems, and they encounter losses. If your website has been sandboxed, always ensure you are actively improving the site using a genuine method. Don’t be tempted for quick fixes. They will hurt you in the end.
With these guidelines, you will never go wrong. They have been used and found effective in removing websites from being sandboxed and to high ranks in no time.
Don’t lose hope or despair if you have been sandboxed. Just wake up and continue mproving your content and your website. And soon enough sandboxing will be a thing of the past.