What is this sandbox? Does it really exist? Am I affected? These are all questions (and there are more) which are asked and it is important you know about this alleged filter and learn how to get out of the Google Sandbox.
One of the key elements of frustration which people encounter when they decide to make headway online is the lack of movement when it comes to website ranking’s and traffic. How often do you check your Google Search Console in the hope you have at least one organic visitor on your new website or blog?
When I started with my first website, I felt I was doing everything correctly. I was carrying out good keyword research, finding low competition keywords with a nice traffic volume and I was not cutting any corners. I was doing everything by the book, but nothing was happening!
Weeks passed by and I was working so hard. Every morning though I would wake up and check if anything had moved and always there was nothing. Of course i was deflated as I had no idea as to what I was doing wrong. Was I do anything wrong at all?
Are you in this position? Are you sat wondering why all of your efforts are not paying off despite all of your hard work? Well, there is a good chance your site may still be in this so called Google Sandbox.
Google has never admitted that the Sandbox actually exists but it is known that new websites are required to prove their worth before being showcased. Some Google representatives have said that other filters that ensure this takes place could offer the same type of results as the so called Sandbox. They do not give much away do they?
What Exactly Is The Google Sandbox?
The Google Sandbox is an alleged filter which is imposed on new websites and blogs. In laymans terms you could call it a trial period.
Now if you look at this more closely, I would say this has to be a good thing. Let’s face it, if you went onto Google and did a search for something and were in need of information, would you prefer to be presented with a brand new site with little content and something probably still under construction, or would you prefer a well-built informative and trusted resource? More than likely you will go for the second option.
Brand new websites will not rank well (if at all) when they are in their early stages and have little or nothing to offer in the way of quality. Google wants to present its users with good quality and relevant results from trusted resources.
There is another reason for this too and that is to stop people manipulating the search engines with garbage sites to try and make fast profits.
If you look back 20 years or so ago when Google was still in its prime (it was founded in 1998) it was a completely different platform then as to what it is now. Back then, it was not unknown for websites to climb to the top of the search results with bad quality information and offers, thus offering very little in the way of a good user experience to internet searchers.
Black Hat Techniques were being used to get these good ranking’s and they were not being picked up on. Almost new sites could reach good heights immediately and a lot of the time they were scams.
Over time though, this all changed and nowadays new websites are prevented from hitting these top search results for the reasons I have mentioned. Today it is all about providing quality and search engines like Google will ensure something is of quality before they offer it to their users.
For this reason, the so called Google Sandbox has allegedly been put in place to prevent new websites from getting good ranking’s until they have proved themselves worthy.
How Long Is A New Site In The Sandbox For?
There is no concrete time frame to answer this question and it really depends on many factors.
For example, it is more likely you will rank better for keywords that have little traffic and competition as opposed to the higher competitive keywords. So if you are targeting a keyword that only have 15 searches a month then you will see results from this first rather than from a keyword that is targeting let’s say 600 searches a month.
The time in the sandbox is said to be from 1 to 6 months. Like I say, the less competitive keywords will escape the sandbox first, while the others will be in there for longer. It seems to be a genuine consensus that anything around 4 months will see you start to escape the net but for those search terms that offer a lot of traffic, you could be there for 6 months and sometimes more.
So as you can see, in the beginning you will be getting very little or no traffic at all despite your efforts. Only over time and your trial period run its course (and you are developing quality information) will you start to see Google offering your site to its users. In a nutshell, it is your job to ensure that your project offers quality content and a good user experience.
Once Google is satisfied, then you will start to see your desired results.
You also have to bear in mind that your niche can play a role in this as well. Some niches are very competitive where others are not so much. Do not forget this when wondering where your traffic is.
6 Steps To Help You
There is no magic formula for escaping this situation. You need to prove your worth and that is the top and bottom of it, even if you do not like this answer.
Just because you are trapped in this so called Sandbox for a while, does not mean that you simply sit on your hands and wait for results. There are things you can do to help and show that you are serious.
- Do Your Keyword Research – Try and target keywords that have a low search volume and a low competition. If you look for low competition keywords yet still try to find those with huge search volumes, the chances are you will not get ranked. A little traffic is better than none at all, so really try and dig out those opportunities with little traffic and competition.
- Plug into Social Media – it is important to have a good social presence and a following. Slowly build up your reputation on Social Media Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Show Google that you are a serious player and you are willing to help people. Do not spam on these platforms. Getting banned does not help your cause.
- Link Building – Always make sure you share your material on the Social Platforms that you use. Make sure that your content is up to scratch so those visiting your website or blog from social media will feel happy to also share your content. Great content gets shared, crap content does not. Naturally apply links and do not go crazy here. Allow your link building strategy to be inline with the development of your website.
- Get Comments on Your Website – Always encourage and answer comments on your website. Google loves to see you offering help and answering questions. This provides a huge benefit to your visitors and is considered excellent for the user experience of your site. Do not forget too that comments are also considered content.
- Keep Developing Content – While it is important to take note of the points made here, never forget the importance of adding quality content to your website. This is the bread and butter of that you are doing and without great content you will get nowhere. Be thorough, engaging and interesting and get peoples attention. Excellent content will see you in great stead for great Google ranking’s down the line. Post frequently for best results.
- Enhanced The User Experience – The longer people spend on your site the better and it is an important metric for your ranking’s. Within your content, encourage people to read something else, offer them another post or page that will give them further information. Make use of video so people will watch it and increase their time on your website. Also, make use of internal links with anchor text to allow readers to navigate to other relevant posts with ease. Doing this will also reduce the bounce rate on your website which is important for your ranking’s.
Never get impatient and go down the road of using black hat techniques. This is a surefire way to slaughter your website and its potential ranking’s. Follow the guidelines laid out by Google and do not try and get smart by taking shortcuts.
Those days are over and you will regret it down the road. I know impatience can get the better of some people but Avoid The Temptation To Break The Rules!!
Do Not Give Up
So many people throw in the towel far too soon. I personally have seen people with really great niches, excellent content and great designs on their websites and they have thrown it all away because they did not get fast results.
Getting good ranking’s comes with time. You have to develop a trust which will see you move forward and you cannot obtain this overnight.
If you are looking to build a new website and are expecting huge volumes of visitors in the first few months then I have to tell you that you are going to be facing some disappointment.
At the absolute minimum you will need to give it 6 months before you start seeing results and this will be where your journey truly begins. Keep the excitement that you had on day one when it was all new and you had the ambition to do really well. Write great content, follow all the rules and complete your training packages should you have them.
A solid and practical effort is what you will need along with a good deal of patience. Keep working at it and never give up. Often success is around the corner without you realizing, so do not throw all your efforts away through lack of patience!
Even though you may be up against it now, time and effort will see you climbing the ranks. The important thing to remember here is that once you are out of this so called sandbox, this is not your cue to take your foot off the gas.
Keep developing, keep following the rules and keep working hard. Once you are out of the sandbox and you start getting visitors, this is when you will really need to up the ante.
Proving that you are worthy of being out of the sandbox is one thing, proving you are worth being at the top of the ranking’s is another.
My Final Advice
For you to be successful online you need to follow guidelines. You need to learn how to develop great content and obtain a good knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). There are many crucial elements you need to put into place and this can only be done with the correct tuition.
Cutting corners and thinking you know the best will not always cut the mustard.
Come and see where I learned how to become successful online and create your own business too. Click the button below for further reading and information. Of course if you have any questions about the Google Sandbox or you can offer your own experiences i would love to hear from you. Get in touch with me in the comments below and I will get right back to you.