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A Google Sandbox Roundup

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 16 years and 3 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.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

Sandbox escapee celebrations

Sorry, I didn’t bother to venture into forum 30 or forum 3 for more sandbox info, even though I’m sure there’s some good stuff buried in there.

Google Sandbox threads from SEW

Some sandbox insights from Rand

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

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