Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 10 years and 6 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.
I received an e-mail from a kind gent in the UK this morning in regards to his take on the “sandbox” and his summmation of it. I asked if he would like to have it “guest posted” here as I thought it quite insightful. He has posted at WMW in the excellent thread there as well (*note supporter’s forum thread).
Thanks Calum, I’m sure your Team Building site will do quite well with your excellent knowledge of current algorithms (of course now it’s associated with a known SEO site you realize ;)).
Many of Calum’s observations were inspired by the Coffee Talk with Matt Cutts.
Guest Sandbox/ Trustbox post:
A sandbox is not a penalty or even a ‘thing’ – it’s a collection of filters in G’s algo that causes a site (not a page) to not rank well for a period of time (and it’s usually felt worst by sites that are):
1. released for the first time
(other sites affected are expired domains, and domains that have their originating registered dates changed – I think).
So what filters are we talking about then? This is for me the most important first question for us to address:
2. Filters are applied to certain keywords, and not to others.
They are usually the competitive commercial/business keywords. If your site is about an obscure non-commercial subject, then you’re likely to escape the sandbox.
3. Filters are usually applied for 6 months, but can be applied for up to 2 years.
If you make some changes (discussed in this thread) they may only last a couple or so weeks…
4. Filters will look for behaviour of SEO’s or spamstersand will be applied if a site shows certain tell-tale signs of being optimised. So this is where the discussion got interesting (for me). So what are SEO’s to do for new sites?
4.1 Talked about getting listed in lots of directories as one.
4.2 Also talked about getting general directories rather than specific niche directories that are highly relevant to your product and service offering.
4.3 Talked about getting links from sites that are known to sell links.
An important distinction needs to be made here – the 2nd post from DaveN (linked to in this thread) hinted to me at certain paid advertising not being picked up as a bad neighbourhood. What follows is guesswork at this stage – my guess would be sites that are reputable and perhaps expensive to buy links from. So perhaps sites that have not been identified by G as link sellers worthy link penalties. Another previous post talked about making sure that the first few links you gather are all quality links that are on topic. This gives G the indication that your site is ‘really’ covering the topic you say it is covering, and that you’re not doing SEO work to get it ranked.
The danger is getting associated in what is being nicknamed a “bad neighbourhood”. So if enough credible trusworthy people say that you’re also
a credible trustworthy person, then hey, in G’s eyes you probably are a credible trustworthy person! This points to effective marketing, press releases, one way links. (it’s the ‘etc’ I’d love to know more about ;))
4.4 Talked about getting lots of traffic as something that can not only keep you out of the sandbox, but a definite proven method to get you out once you are in!
So again, this points to effective marketing. Also mentioned that the idea as to whether this needs to be sustained traffic, or whether G only looks for a short time and then stops the filter watch on your new site. No one has answered this questions yet, so we’re left to guess. Of course we would prefer to get a continued stream of traffic rather than one initial boost followed by little… The focus it appears to be then for a new site is that you don’t look to the SE’s for good traffic, but rather that you look towards non SE methods of pulling in the visitors.
4.5 Of course a good by-product of getting an authority site to send you initial traffic is that they often lead to your gathering a number of OWL’s
from other sites.
Eg. Prweb article gets picked up by Y and G newsfeeds and in turn these 3 sites will be read by thousands. This could lead to your site either being republished online by other news sites, or just in webmasters giving you a link because they like your article. So between the lines something that probably has an impact is your gathering natural looking OWL (one way links) after getting the quality link.
4.6. Looks like there’s not just 1 site that can keep you out of the sandbox – it’s best to have a handful. Dmoz alone can’t do it.
While I could certainly debate certain points of Calum’s speculation, I think to do so would detract from a nice piece of work. Thanks mate.