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Sandbox- Clever stuff
Google just got better
MHes




msg:96746
 9:39 am on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi

Sandboxing sites is the cleverest move by google for a long time. The effect on us is to stop building new sites and develop and improve existing sites. I'm sure this is the case with others, and this helps google rather than swamping them with new domains all the time.

The effects of sandboxing as I see it:

1) Discourages 1 minute spammy sites that fly then die.
2) Allows google to monitor the growth of a site, including natural links in and new content, before they really start to rank it.
3) Removes the 'instant success' factor, which makes us all greedy and produce sites with little thought and effort.

In short, by removing the instant success factor, the incentive of setting up new sites has been reduced, and the incentive of working on improving older sites has increased.

Well done Google - smart move.

 

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:96747
 10:19 am on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Has Google ever commented on the Sandbox effect or admitted that it exists?

MHes




msg:96748
 10:47 am on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi

I doubt they will comment, but there is no doubt that new sites no longer fly as soon as they are indexed. I suspect the pace of growth is deliberately being slowed down to allow time for google to inspect them.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:96749
 11:11 am on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Mhes I agree with you.

I was just wondering if anyone had heard or read anything from Google about this. I have had another look at their guidelines for submission and how sites get indexed, etc. and nothing there has changed wrt sandbox being mentioned.

If it does exist I can't think of any reason for them not to comment on it. If it is an attempt at improving the results then they should be happy to tell us about it. At my level I would be willing to accept a two, three or four month delay in ranking if it meant that existing content and results were improved. I think that this is all highly laudable.

Legin




msg:96750
 11:27 am on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

This sounds like a great function.. Have they said when it will be implemented?

We have a customer that is having major problems with a competitor who has started up about 5 competing sites all with different designes but using the same database and descriptions. They so have more content that our customer which appears to put them straight at the top for the main keyword. Although I dont think this would work over hte long run I think it will make it take much longer and less worth their while to effect it.

JudgeJeffries




msg:96751
 11:28 am on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I dont mind a fixed delay so long as I know whats going on. The worry of wondering whether my hard work will ever rank is a serious restraint on my desire to produce new useful sites.

john316




msg:96752
 11:47 am on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes moldy oldy is better than minty fresh.

A step backwards for the user.

Quarantining web sites is not exactly a good practice, just a reaction to the inherent weaknesses in their algorithms.

MHes




msg:96753
 11:48 am on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Legin-
My understanding and experience is that it is happening now!

New sites we have done are getting a few hundred visitors per day from google, when we would expect a few thousand. These sites are growing at about 10% per week, but I'm hoping that once they have bben through the sandbox (3 months?) they will fly.

Maybe its a topic issue? Do they target certain sectors for sandbox?

MHes




msg:96754
 11:49 am on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

john316 - Good point, minty fresh may not have been a good idea.

Chico_Loco




msg:96755
 11:53 am on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes moldy oldy is better than minty fresh.

You know - I too would rather haev it fresh as a daisy, but pages on the internet really don't change so fast that it would be an essential ingredient.

I mean, the only sites that would change frequently enough to urgently require immadiate updates are news sites - and there is a Google News service which updates every few minutes.

I find some degree of comfort in this sandbox because if I go to buy something, I can guess that the site I'm clicnking on the in the top 10 to buy whatever are well established. In saying that, I don't buy stuff online - but the rule applies to when I'm looking for info or something too.

Now if only Google would updated the links from my site :) Got loads I'm waiting to really "take effect".

shrirch




msg:96756
 12:13 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> google to inspect them.

I'd suspect that there are no manual inspections. That will open google up for some serious lawsuits.

Liane




msg:96757
 12:18 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

How clever is it to amputate one's leg at the hip due to a severe hang nail on one's big toe?

I certainly agree that "something" has to be done to prevent the pariahs from producing overnight "fake directories" plaguing Google's index ... but at what cost? The loss of "freshness" is a really huge sacrifice!

Would it not be wiser to flag those new sites or pages possessing unnatural link popularity at launch? The "instant success factor" for "new" sites has got to be rather easily spotted ... wouldn't you think?

I launched a new page 12 days ago which has been indexed but which does not show anywhere in the results.

Granted, this new page would accurately be described as a links page, but it is also what anyone would arguably consider to be a bonafide links page ... produced for the convenience of my customers, promoting a complimentary service which goes hand in hand with what I sell.

The "so called" directories in my country have failed miserably in accurately listing companies in this and many other fields, which are of importance to my clients.

Truthfully, this page is not there for any reason other than for my clients' convenience, so its no big deal if it never appears in the results ... but ....

Will all bonafide directories be "sandboxed" and treated the same way as fake directories? If so, what will be the end result? What will be the long term affect of "the sandbox" on freshness? Whether Google admits its existence or not ... it is most certainly there!

I can see the benifits to doing this, (temporarily) but the ramifications are brutal for real directories. Shades of the past coming back to haunt us. Submit a site to Excite or Alta Vista ... wait 6 months and then Presto, it appears in the SERPS! Groan. There has to be a better way!

Google is always saying they prefer to find algorithmic solutions to problems. Although they are using an algorithm to spot these pages or sites ... I don't think the sandbox is the ideal solution to this very serious problem.

One problem area the sandbox will curtail is the "one page wonders" or keyword-keyword-keyword domains which are simply doorway pages for numerous sites all owned by the same rogues. But if the rogues plan ahead ... then what is the real bonus here?

Surely there are other ways to detect these blighters, rather than applying the sandbox affect to all directory "type" pages?

I am in the midst of producing a links directory for every web site in my country. This directory will undoubtedly experience the sandbox affect. For how long, I don't know. I have no ulterior motives in doing this and will reap no personal gain from it. In fact, I am doing it to make a point to our government. Should this directory be treated the same way as the one page wonders? Personally, I don't think so ... but I will produce it nonetheless. Sigh :(

john316




msg:96758
 12:18 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you want a current snapshot of whats happening you have to use yahoo!

A little OT:

Why do seemingly mature people use toddler terms when describing google snafus?

sandbox? Whats next? Bounce house, binky?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:96759
 12:35 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

The loss of "freshness" is a really huge sacrifice!

Freshness? I am sorry Liane but the loss of freshness is no huge sacrifice. From where I am sitting it is an irrelevance. If the sandbox minimizes the spammy directories chances of appearing then so be it.

If your bonafide directories must suffer then so be it. The fact remains that all that the vast majority of directories achieve, "bonafide" or otherwise, is to get in the way of real search results for sites who provide good information.

With 4 billion pages indexed I don't think that "freshness" is a problem at all. Freshness to me comes from established, informational sites who regularly provide new content. What is fresh about a directory?

Liane




msg:96760
 12:35 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Why do seemingly mature people use toddler terms when describing google snafus?

Hey ... I'm just using the term so we all know to which algo change we are referring, as it has been widely used in the forum.

Liane




msg:96761
 12:43 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

What is fresh about a directory?

Well, when more than half the web sites in a country can't be found because they don't know SEO from a whole in the ground ... a good directory can be rather important.

In the case I am describing, every directory in the country charges for links. AND, they charge rather handsomely. Many site owners simply can't afford the annual expense. The government has sites which should promote these sites, but doesn't. At least not equitably and fairly to all.

The whole world isn't made up of webmasters and SEO's. Some are just mom & pop business people trying to scrape by and a 3 to 6 month lag time for their new site to be picked up is a major problem. I think a directory is very important and I know there are many in my country who feel the same way.

Don't be sorry ... you're allowed your opinion.

[edited by: Liane at 12:48 pm (utc) on May 30, 2004]

john316




msg:96762
 12:47 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

>What is fresh about a directory?

If directories didn't exist, google would be in a bigger mess than they are now, they have always used them as a trusted source for crawling and ranking. Don't dismiss the value of human effort in enhancing the quality of google.

It's also not fair of you to use such a wide brush and accuse people of creating irrelevant directories, truth be told, there are a lot high quality, first class resources out there.

graywolf




msg:96763
 1:01 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't people who search on the internet want the "best" results. They don't seem too care if they are minty fresh or crusty old. Old doesn't mean better or worse just older. Since we are all "supposed" to build pages for people not search engines, shouldn't SERPS be designed for people as well, instead of thwarting "hit and run SEO".

trillianjedi




msg:96764
 1:05 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'd suspect that there are no manual inspections. That will open google up for some serious lawsuits.

I wouldn't have thought so, the end user is the searcher, and there is no contractual relationship.

TJ

Liane




msg:96765
 1:14 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree to an extent graywolf ... but how would you feel if your "new" business didn't stand a chance of being promoted for 3 to 6 months?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:96766
 1:16 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's also not fair of you to use such a wide brush and accuse people of creating irrelevant directories, truth be told, there are a lot high quality, first class resources out there.

Look, when I do searches in Google recently on many occasions all I get is irrelevant, spammy directories at the top of the results pages. This interferes with my work by wasting my time when trying to find what I need. I am trying to earn an honest living here so is it any wonder that I feel bitter about this?

I will not deny that directories do have their place, but millions of them? I have often advocated the use of a directory filter on search engines (not just Google) that would separate directories from other results. A link could be provided at the top of the results page, "Display Directory Results" for those who want these.

I suspect that there would not be many people clicking this link but those of us who DO NOT want them would not have to try to filter them out ourselves. The fact remains that these directories, on the whole, are an obstacle to good results being produced. Surely no one can deny this?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:96767
 1:18 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

If directories didn't exist, google would be in a bigger mess than they are now

We shall have to agree to disagree on this. IMHO it's the existence of the vast majority of these directories that has put Google in the mess that it is in.

Bobby_Davro




msg:96768
 1:27 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

BeeDeeDubbleU, those aren't directories. They are simply hierarchical lists of PPC results. It is very different.

A lot of the confusion is the bad name that these have given to the genuine directories. I am more responsible than most for causing this problem, and I don't want the genuine directories to be badly affected by it.

Can we start using a new name for them - "spamectories" perhaps?

john316




msg:96769
 1:39 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

>The fact remains that these directories, on the whole, are an obstacle to good results being produced. Surely no one can deny this?

That is a google weakness, simple as that, if they can't filter out the latest greatest PPC disguised as "whatever is working this week" they have a quality issue. It's certainly not a good excuse to deliver stale results.

Kirby




msg:96770
 1:46 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Some are just mom & pop business people trying to scrape by and a 3 to 6 month lag time for their new site to be picked up is a major problem.

This is nothing new. With the old deep crawl and monthly updates, 3-6 months was a typical wait to show up. This is just Google correcting a problem they inadvertantly created when they went to a rolling update.

graywolf




msg:96771
 1:53 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree to an extent graywolf ... but how would you feel if your "new" business didn't stand a chance of being promoted for 3 to 6 months?

Liane I think you misunderstood me I'm against sandboxing. For example lets look at a category that's heavily SEO'd, mortgages.

Do you want the information that's newest or oldest, it depends.

Is getting a mortgage from a company that's been around longer make a better mortgage, again it depends.

Newness or oldness is not a valid indicator of quality. Sandboxing is an over-reaction. Since we're using terms I'll use another kid anology. Is it right for the teacher to punish every new kid just because a few misbehave?

Patrick Taylor




msg:96772
 2:06 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Too much of what one finds in SERPS these days is references to content instead of content itself. Sites are trading other peoples content - look at RSS feeds... I admit to using a few myself to fill up spaces on a page and build up a sort of bogus credibility, which is truly pathetic because it somehow seems necessary. Original and unique content is presumably what people really want, but unfortunately the Google model is built to reward linking more than hard thinking work, so you have to go round in circles to find it. In my opinion they're stuck with a seriously creaking system. A sandbox effect, if it exists, would be a fairly desperate step and a nonsense for the user if it holds back new sites with worthwhile new content. Cheats will find a way to get round it anyway (if they haven't already).

Liane




msg:96773
 2:09 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is nothing new. With the old deep crawl and monthly updates, 3-6 months was a typical wait to show up. This is just Google correcting a problem they inadvertantly created when they went to a rolling update.

And the rolling update is a wonderful thing! Why not find a "fitting" solution to the problem rather than roll back the clock and take a step back in time? Holding back fresh info is not the most effective answer.

Find the right algo with which to sort the wheat from the chaff. That's what has to be done ... and I'm sure they are working on it.

I am as frustrated as anyone else with the "spammy directories" and one page wonders. As I mentioned, they are rife in my industry. In the meantime, the (hopefully temporary) solution they have come up with is better than nothing at all.

john316




msg:96774
 2:13 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Even with the quarantine in full effect, the "spammy" directories are still ruling the roost, how has this technique improved anything for the searcher?

Now they get stale spammy directories.

Maybe we should call them "croutons" in keeping with the cuteness theme.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:96775
 4:33 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree to an extent graywolf ... but how would you feel if your "new" business didn't stand a chance of being promoted for 3 to 6 months?

I think what you mean is that your new business does not stand a chance of being promoted for nothing for 3 to 6 months. There are paid alternatives that will get you promoted immediately.

If you need to take the free route be prepared to accept the restrictions. I don't pay per click or whatever and I am willing to accept that if I am not paying I cannot dictate the terms of entry into the index.

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