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This 47 message thread spans 2 pages: 47 ( [1] 2 > >     
How long does the 'Penalty' last for
anyone got experience of how long it takes to get out

 11:05 pm on Jun 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

It was decided a few weeks ago that my site was 'sandboxed'. My site is PR 4 and shows up in the
allin.... search for my keywords(no.4 for most) and is nowhere(not in first 40 pages) for the standard search.

From peoples experience, how long is it going to take to start getting proper listings. Is there anything I can do to speed things up a bit or is it sit tight time?


Do all new sites get sandboxed in this way or is it only when keyword density is such that it is obvious the site has been SEO'd?




 7:01 am on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

From my experience "sandbox" was effected on one of my sites about 10 weeks. Only after 10 weeks I noticed first visitors from Google. Currently I am doing an experiment with new site and it's already 8 weeks when it was added to Google, but still no visitors from Google (excluding, "unique widget" keyword visitors).

In my opinion "sandbox" works for all new sites now.

Update: Just have read some new information about SandBox at one SEO blog (I am not sure can I post its link here). Here is Alan's Webb quote from Search Engine Strategies Conference, which was held in London.

"The google sandbox was briefly mentioned. One of the panels mentioned it could occur when a site launches and all of a sudden a large number of links point to it with the same link text. So the sandboxing may well just be a filter for those sites that have an exorbitant amount of incoming links on launch. It is the links that are sandboxed not the site. This might explain why only some sites get sandboxed and not others. Matt Cutts (Google) on the other hands basically thought there was nothing in it and that there is no sandboxing I dont know where this sandboxing theory started from.. In others words there is still no answer to the sandbox question, whether it exists or not.


 7:48 am on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

There has to be a sandbog for new sites otherwise why do all new sites not make the rankings?


 8:27 am on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have about 25 links coming in, the site has been registered with a holding page for 1 year before i set it up for proper so i'm not sure it's a links thing.



 8:40 am on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

"There has to be a sandbog for new sites otherwise why do all new sites not make the rankings?"

Because a new site only has new links in. :)


 9:36 am on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I seem to recall that the 'old page rank' is a factor in calculating the 'new Google page rank' under the latest Google patent - a new site would not have an 'oldrank' so this adds 0 into the formulae and prevents it from being listed very high unless the keyword is non competative.

I agree that a new site takes about 3 months before it appears in Google at any decent position.


 9:43 am on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

A new site I built got index by Google about four months ago and still seems to be sandbox because it isn't even in the top 10 pages and have more links (With keywords in them) then any other site on this keyword.


 12:59 pm on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Would this be a good strategy for a new site in order to get out of the sandbox ASAP.

1. choose specific keywords
2. register Domain
3. Build keyword rich holding page and host it
(not OTT on keyword density)
4. link 10 or so sites to it to get it into google
5. build site
6. 1-2 months later (or whatever) launch site and then get linking for proper.

Are there any drawbacks with that strategy? Would it be possible to get a penalty for spamming or detract from the PR of the site when it came to launch date.


 8:32 pm on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I always have my links from my old sites to the new sites so it isn't just a linking problem.


 1:27 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've been getting google hits for my blog since a couple days after it was restarted on a new domain after three weeks when my server was dead. I put a redirect from my old domain after I restarted the blog (from www.d1.com to www.d2.com).

Two months later I have no PR -- though a lot of sites link to my blog -- but I have gotten Google hits the whole way. So, maybe no Sandbox for some sites?


 6:29 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have a few sites which were hit by sandbox (my guess) and were later released (again my opinion).

Before we assume that a 'no top rank' with links is a sandbox effect, I think one should ensure its not anything else.

Such as:
Florida effect continued -- in which large directories, DMOZ clones (genuine and fake) and yellowpages rose to the top across the board, and even a narrow search such as 'widget copany based in this street in this city' would not get your site on top.

Over-SEO or spam. Many seem to be compaining about their keyword-rich sites not appearing etc. After all the hoo-ha about over-optimization penalties, I would think people would stop increasing keyword densities to ridiculous levels - but no. Everyone still keeps doing it.

If all this is not the issue, then it could be sandbox.

How to avoid sandbox then?

In my opinion, pure sandbox effect can last up to 4 months. (no over-SEO problem, no Florida effect).

1) So, register site
2) Launch site uofficially with a few pages
3) Don't work the keyword-density, dude. Too risky nowadays.
4) Get links little by little.
5) No sudden site-wide links from another site of yours into this new site. The large numbers that generate will be noticed.
6) no subdomain interlinking, dudes.
7) No links from same IP c-block.
8) official launch anytime u feel like it, but ideally after one backlink update so yu can see where you are going
9) Keep filenames same, or do the redirect to new pages properly.
10) Keep it all looking like a fine and natural progression :)


 6:45 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Anyone have any time in the 'box for a new domain name with content coming from an already well indexed older site with proper redirects to the new domain?


 3:51 pm on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

great post wanderingmind, very useful.

SO basically at launch just put the keywords in a couple of times in a decent amount of text and wait(stirring occasionally ;-) ).
Once listed and settled (2 months or so) start raising the keyword density a bit and go nuts on the links.



 11:36 am on Jun 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think wanderingmind hit the nail on the head. Especially the part about the bazillion links from one of your own. That seems to sandbox you real well.


 12:11 pm on Jun 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

The question is are you really going to be able to rank for anything other than "Aunt Mae's Sweet Pickle Sandwiches" without a decent amount of inbound links?


 1:48 pm on Jun 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

No. You still need the bazillion links to rank high for most terms. They just have to show up "naturally", meaning in a manner decided upon probably by historical data. Google can probably make a rough guess at how long it takes to add natural links.


 3:03 pm on Jun 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Contrary to what I have been reading in the forums ( and quite a lot at that ), My personal experience is that sites do get sandboxed ( irrespective of time duration ), I have myself experienced sites sandboxed ( my guess ) with a PR of 5 and the sites are almost 1 year old ( even more ). Previously, the site has been on top on most of its keywords, but suddenly one fine day ( precisely 2 months ago ) vanish and not coming even on some very unique keywords.

Also, I have found that sites which have undergone link popularity has been completely unaffected by this sandboxing effect. ( again my personal experience )

Any inputs will be highly appreciated.

Also, am I the only person who is facing this problem or do I have company?



 3:16 pm on Jun 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi Copper

"Previously, the site has been on top on most of its keywords, but suddenly one fine day ( precisely 2 months ago ) vanish and not coming even on some very unique keywords."

This does not sound like sandbox to me, but something else.... optimisation problem.


 3:52 pm on Jun 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi MHes,

Thanks for your reply.

Believe me, its not a optimization problem ( I stricly adhere to the google guidelines ), of the sites that had vanished, 3 came back to their positions a couple of weeks back, and theres no difference in their optimization as well, so I honestly dont think its a optimization problem. But yes, I have surely noticed that sites which have undergone link campaign have relatively been unaffected by the sandbox.



 5:16 pm on Jun 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>> But yes, I have surely noticed that sites which have undergone link campaign have relatively been unaffected by the sandbox.


Your case does not seem to be sandboxed neither. It sounds like you have not gone into any link exchange campaign or on a very limited basis. One of the possible reasons is that you do have inbound links but from too few domains to help you rank well. What you might need is both quantity and quality links from different voters in your related industry.

More reasons can also be due to G's new algo of complicated LSI and possible Hilltop as well as the unknown mysteries.


 5:55 pm on Jun 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

I stricly adhere to the google guidelines

This is no guarantee. The Florida update affected a lot of clean sites for example. Google has been known to penalize 'over-optimization', even when it falls within their guidlines. Their guidlines are vauge, and if you were truly following them you wouldn't be here, you'd be asking your users.


 2:15 am on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google has been known to penalize 'over-optimization'

For those that believe an "over-optimization" penalty exists, you may want to inspect the winner of **** **** Search Competition. That homepage is KW after KW after KW after KW, etc. If that isn't "over-optimization" I don't know what it.

You better check out the site soon, because it is being shut down, according to a recent message on the site.


 3:35 am on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)


What's your opinion on whether to get links slowly or as quick as possible for a new site in order to get out of the sandbox faster?

I'm asking this from the perspective that you took about "new links" since if you do it slowly you'll always have less link age on some of your links than if you had got them as fast as possible.


 6:38 am on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)


What is critical, avoiding the sandbox to rule another day, or link age?

I think its better to get links at a slow and steady pace. For example, say I have a target of 100 backlinks.

If I start them all on Day 5 of the site - is that natural? I would say its suspicious. Maybe not to a human, but probably to an algorithm it is...

(On the other hand, the just concluded SEO competition for XXXX XXXXX leads me to believe that there is no over-optimization penalty, no sandbox, nothing...! Life is tough)


 7:21 am on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>> I think its better to get links at a slow and steady pace. For example, say I have a target of 100 backlinks.

If I start them all on Day 5 of the site - is that natural? I would say its suspicious. Maybe not to a human, but probably to an algorithm it is...


Sandbox is a sandbox; I don't believe in OOP, but I am a very strong believer in Sandbox, not for new sites but for new links.

There is no relationship in the age of sandbox and in the pace of gaining links. Either you get 1 link or 100 links per day, the age of sandbox per link is still the same.

Also G does not need to care how many links you get per day, but you need to care whom you are going to link to.


 7:44 am on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is WW worried that they might suddenly eclipse everyone else and start showing up number one for dark teal?;)


 10:40 am on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)


yes sandbox applies to links, not sites. But then, if it applies to links, it applies to your site too - right?

To say that Google doesnt care about whether you are getting 500 links per day or not - if that's right, they shouldnt care about 5000 either. or 50000. You think its possible that Google has not put in a safeguard against sudden appearance of massive links? More than normal sites, wouldnt you expect those kind of sites to be operated by spammers - and wasn't 'avoiding spammers who could suddenly start sites on throwaway domains and then abandon them and move on to new sites' the majority opinion on why sandbox was put in place?

* Such a long line, I should be in politics :-)


 12:26 pm on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I thought SandBox, as a new site phenomena would have been discarded by most webmasters by now.

I was always convinced that this is a pure link thing and more importantly a link trust thing. And it's not just a case of aging all new links for a set quarantine period.

If you get on-topic, authority links, from trusted sites, then the link can count without delay.

Anyone have such links being quarantined?


 12:53 pm on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)


If a new site goes up it may be linked to for a few days by hundreds of "news" sites, then those links fall away. This must be anticipated by google and not do any longterm harm. Likewise, if a site gets into inktomi or dmoz, it may suddenly have loads of links in from directory sites carrying those results. Also, I'm sure Google realises that websites will be marketed on launch, that is natural.

So, this hopefully is all within the 'normal' pattern for a new site. It is probably impossible for them to determine whether the site is suddenly achieving loads of links in because of dubious link exchanges or are natural links in because the site is just plain excellent. So I don't believe it is quantity that matters.

I reckon Google allows a new site a few days good ranking just because it is new, as long as a few of the links in are from 'trusted sites', such as a high pr "news" site. It then waits for enough 'trusted sites' to also link to it before the site gets out of the sandbox. This is the pattern it is looking for, and will ignore everything else. This is in keeping with the hiltop theory, thus a site can achieve high pr with loads of links in from off theme sites, but at the end of the day, will only rank well if 'on theme' links are detected.

Trusted sites? These need to be on theme and not from obvious links pages. A steady growth of links in from pages on theme that also appear in the search results for the given keyword phrase. Links from pages with various (off theme) and many other links on are not 'trusted pages'. Once it sees a few 'trusted links' I reckon your out of the sandbox. So, to answer your question, a steady and believable rise in 'trusted' site links in will trigger confidence in your site and get you out. Hundreds of links in suddenly appearing or a few will make no difference, this may be happening outside of the control of the webmaster. It is the progression of 'on theme' links from sites that are focused on your topic that are important.

In effect, sandbox is the by product of Hiltop. If you don't have a sufficient number of quality on theme links in from quality sites, you don't rank, whatever the toolbar says your pr is.


 12:57 pm on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree with Copper, draw your own conclusions from the following.

We own a large network of established sites over 18 months old, one fine day at the end of Feb this year those sites dropped off the planet for obscure 2 and 3 term searches.

No changes to the sites seo or link wise for over 10 months, no changes beyond standard updating. Our sites are peachy clean up and down, nothing and I mean nothing even border blackhat about them.

They are however interlinked as a network since we are a network. Exactly 90 days to the hour from the start of this drop we returned to the serps for those terms strong as ever for the last 2 years. Statistically for this to be coincidence is improbable.

I as do my buddies strongly believe that Google is employing a system to stop artificial rank increases via interlinking by nulling all pr passed from the authority site to the next site for a period of 90 days, if the sites haven't changed heavily for linkage after the ninety days and remain relatively the same you are then given that authority back for those links. Most spammers will have closed down those sites by then and moved on.

Our conclusion is that this is a attempt by Google to stop spammers, well at least one piece of there solution anyhow. Unfortunately many clean sites get caught up in this. Sorta the, you have to break some eggs to make a omelet adage.

My opinion is to leave your sites alone, chalk it up to a 90 day hit and move on to content and other productive things that will pay off once you are allowed out to play.

This is what has happened to us and our network.


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