Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 11 years and 223 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.
Technically, the Google Sandbox is keyword selection tool. Unfortunately, the name has also evolved into an incredibly ambigous term used to label a variety of SEO ailments. I’m not sure of exactly how the name developed, though it was thought by some that “Google Lag” or “litterbox” were better terminology for the phenomena. The “sandbox” caught on though to describe the lack of new sites showing up in Google’s results in early 2004.
Why does the sandbox exist? was asked early on (probably many times). There has been a multitude of speculation about the sandbox, and rather than add my own theory to this, I am just going to compile a list of information at this time.
The best roundup I’ve seen to date on the existence of the ever elusive sandbox comes from top notch link builder – Andy Hagans known as notredamekid on WMW. You’ll have to be a supporter to read it in it’s entirety, but this thread alone will be worth the price of the subscription.
Andy basically summarizes the potential “flags” speculated to be a part of the sandbox.
- Temporal Link Analysis Flag
- Anchor Text Flag
- Deep Link Flag
- Spammy SEO Link Network Flag
- Trustlink Flag
- Hilltop Flag
His full post includes a more in-depth coverage of each of these flags. He also discusses his “sandbox best practices” which is one of the best round-ups I have seen to date:
- Build links slowly, especially in the first couple of months.
- Vary my anchor text heavily
- Make sure to get some deep links.
- Avoid the spammy SEO directories. You know which ones I mean :)
- Try hard for that DMOZ link, or failing that, a .gov or .edu
- Get links from topically related sites (especially a few that are already ranking well)
It’s still all about the links, but the link development strategies definitely have to change to be effective in the new environment of the sandbox.
Compilation of Google Sandbox Threads
WMW Supporter’s Forum
- How many ways can you say “I want my MTV” – Martinibuster’s guide to new sandbox-era technique
- The truth about the supposed sandbox: a site analysis by PatrickDeese
- Flood vs. trickle on 100 new articles
- Trying to beat the sandbox
- The other side of allegra (some great stuff by caveman)
- Need info on the Google Sandbox
- Sandbox and filters
- Sandbox – what’s the point?
- Longest you’ve been in the sandbox
- Absurdity of the sandbox
- Reappraisal of the sandbox
Sandbox escapee celebrations
Google Sandbox threads from SEW
- Compilation of anti-sandbox techniques
- Does the Google patent application verify the sandbox?
- Google sandbox: does it apply to sites, links, or both?
Some sandbox insights from Rand
- Potential solutions and updates to the sandbox
- An update on Google’s lonely sandbox
- Sandbox detection tool
Congrats to Rand on his new update as well.
Some issues courtesy of caveman that help to identify “unnatural linking”:
- too many bought links as a percent of total IBL’s,
- too many recip links as a percent of total IBL’s,
- too many ROS links as a percent of total IBL’s,
- too many links added too fast,
- too many links from irrelevant sites/pages,
- too much repetitive anchor text
Even more on the Google Sandbox Effect