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Sandboxed Sites - Back Together?
Do they come out together or one by one?
McMohan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 10:09 am on Nov 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Most of the new sites that I work with are still in the sandbox. Was just curios to know, if all the sanboxed sites come out of the sandbox during one fine major updation or one by one, over the rolling updates?

That is to say, should one be checking to see if the sites are out of the sandbox regularly or only when they know there is a major Google update? :)

Thanks

Mc

 

energylevel

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 1:22 am on Dec 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I had a clients site sandboxed, came out and hit the ground running after about 7 months with very good rankings for many very competitive terms. For example #1 for a term with 17,000,000+ results. Suddenly bump in the last few days ranking gone pretty much again and seems to be back where it was which is nowhere! This site is reputable company, good SEO'd (nothing dodgy)site had Yahoo Directory listing early on and a regional DMOZ listing, we acquired very few inbound links , just some specialised ones. Untill the 6 month mark when we acquired abut 50 links from various general, business and industry specific directories. This gave us reason to believe that these links helped initially but it's anyone's guess now!

We're mistified why the site is having such a rough time and I can tell you it's gut wrenching to see a site apparently come out of the sandbox and start performing well in the SERPS only to seemingly be put back in the sandbox a few weeks later.

Spine

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 3:35 am on Dec 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I know how you feel, except my site was 4 years old and seems to be 'sandboxed' or something similar.

eZeB

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 6:20 pm on Dec 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

EnergyLevel --- that is the most interesting thing I have heard so far. Do you think that you got out of the sandbox and now have a ranking problem?

energylevel

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 7:50 pm on Dec 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes .. most definitely .... site hit the ground running as it was released from sandbox after 7 months and was ranking very high, #1 in quite a few cases for popular terms and since the weekend seem to have been dropped after about 3 weeks of enjoying the good times! I have to say it's not quite as severe as the original 'sandbox' status but it might as well be, I'd say it seems to be a slightly less severe version.

Strange thing is, I'm at a loss to identify what the problem is and caused Google to drop the site again, , still showing Pagerank 4 in the Google toolbar and my guess is the next time it's updated it will be showing pagerank of 5 in the toolbar.

My first instinct is to do nothing at least for a week or two and see what happens but it's difficult to explain to a client particularly after enjoying a few weeks of good traffic from Google, I know Google owes us nothing but to give then take away is hard to stomach!

If anyone can offer any theories I'd appreciate the input ..

fclark

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 9:51 pm on Dec 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ever consider that sandboxed sites might get a chance in the main serps to prove a threshold CTR just as AdWords ads do on a keyword basis?

It would sure make sense if there is some kind of capacity issue to make spots available to the most "deserving" as measured by a clickthrough metric.

Just a thought.

energylevel

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 10:08 pm on Dec 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

don't see that as being a factor in this case ... 99.9% sure

Powdork

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 8:45 am on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

another googlefart
the cedar room

Its in Y, its on msn, its even better on beta
Google can't find it even if you tell them its in lake tahoe and its a restaurant.
Google sure has a unique way of organizing information.
There's one algorithm to determine where a page should rank which is superceded by the algorithm that determines the likelihood of a pages sponsor purchasing adwords.
Or maybe its just broken beyond repair.

And if your still wondering if new pages on authority sites can rank well off the line, search for googlefart.

and interestingly, 'googlefarts indexed' is both a yahoowhack and a googlewhack;)

Good night, tomorrow's another powder day:)

Spine

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 8:59 am on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

But if the cedar room mentions it's own name somewhere on the site, it must be spam, and likely has nothing to do with itself. I mean, why would they use their own name on the site unless they had something shady in mind?

Probably a ball bearing factory looking for extra traffic.

lizardx

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 7:41 am on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here's a note on the sandbox:

My stuff seems to have finally started escaping the sandbox, for anyone out there wondering, looks like it's still about 6 months, give or take a few weeks. Pages come out from what I can see, not the site as a whole. Individual pages, one at a time, in groups, but not the whole site at once, I'm still waiting on a small group of pages to come out of it, easy to see because they have unique keywords that should rank top 5, and do everywhere else, and have on google as well.

That's pretty much what I thought happened, it's pages getting sandboxed, the sandbox is I think as someone wrote, can't remember which thread, a flag attached to each page, the pages seem to come out individually, maybe depending on when they were first indexed after the site domain was sandboxed.

Process seems to take a few weeks, it's not all at once. I'll consider this Google's christmas present to me, Yahoo already gave me mine this week, top 10 for all keywords and more, made my site authority by the looks of it, thanks Yahoo, yahoo and msn now 50% of my traffic, google up 2-300% this week, Yahoo also gave a client back his number 1 for keyword1, money keyword, very nice all around, happy holidays you all, don't seo yourselves to death this year, break old habits, remember google is a business, not your friend, treat them that way.

Sweet Cognac

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 3:26 pm on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> Ever consider that sandboxed sites might get a chance in the main serps to prove a threshold CTR just as AdWords ads do on a keyword basis?
It would sure make sense if there is some kind of capacity issue to make spots available to the most "deserving" as measured by a clickthrough metric. <<

This thought has actually occured to me. I have a site that I have attributed it's success to "timimg" and "clickthru rate" This is because when I uploaded it, it was the right time of the year, and alot of people were searching for it. So in it's initial "new site" state (in which you are at the top of the serps a couple of weeks before getting sandboxed) the ctr was through the roof. Well this site didn't ever get sandboxed and it's still #1 for it's very competive 3 keyword phrase.

For instance, if you have a new website about "fishing", wouldn't it make more sense to upload it in the early Spring, just before "fishing" gets hot?

Maybe this doesn't make sense though, new products come out and the sites seem to get sandboxed anyway. There must be a heavier algo for commerical sites?

I wish they had a "common sense" algo. :)

mykel79

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 4:10 pm on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sweet Cognac: you shouldn't confuse CTR (click through rate) with the absolute number of links.

There can be 10 searches for a term in a given period, but if everyone clicks on a certain site it has a CTR of 100%. On the other hand there can be millions of searches on a keyword in a given period, but if only 1 in 10 people click on a specific site, it will have a CTR of 10%.

McMohan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 6:03 pm on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

lizardx - Jingle all the way, a nice Santa gift :) Merry Christmas.

BTW, did the event coincide with any change (even minor one as you may put it) you may have done with the site, or IBLs?

Happy Holidays

Mc

nileshkurhade

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 6:41 pm on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have just now found top 30 results as dupicate entries on Google. All are new sites. All having duplicate content. WHOIS shows the domains were bought 3 weeks ago and all of them are now serially in line from 2 to 31 in SERPS. The keywords are exteremely competetive (probably the most competitive among webmasters).

lizardx

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 9:36 pm on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

<< BTW, did the event coincide with any change (even minor one as you may put it) you may have done with the site, or IBLs >>

No, no change, I deliberately have avoided tweaking stuff too much since putting the site into the sandbox, also deliberately. I wanted to see how the sandbox works, now I have a pretty good idea. It's predictable by the way, which if there were no sandbox would not be the case. All behaviors fit what I thought, including this last lingering group of pages that are still being sandboxed - how do I know? because the site is now top 20 for keyword phrase, but the page returned is actually not the main page for that keyword phrase, only if the actual keyword phrase page is still in the sandbox, ie, its flag is still true, would I get this secondary page for that keyword phrase, no search engine, including google, has ever confused these pages, mainly because there are authority ibls to that main page, the one still in the sandbox.

Regarding the new 3 week old sites, sounds like the google new site boost, check on those next week, or the week after and see how they are doing. It's always possible too that Google fixes its algo, creates a real full one index version of the web, and whatever else it needs to do, then the sandbox and related events will go away without any fanfare, these forums will remain the best place to see if and when that's happened.

Gorilla

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 5:12 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

> No, no change, I deliberately have avoided tweaking stuff too much since putting the site into the sandbox, also deliberately.

How about links to the site? No new links and no links removed? How about changes in links to the sites linking to the site?

Sweet Cognac

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 8:07 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sweet Cognac: you shouldn't confuse CTR (click through rate) with the absolute number of links.

mykel79, thanks for pointing that out to me, I guess I misunderstood what fclark was saying. And if that is true, I am at a loss for words to explain why this site didn't get sandboxed.

However, I have another site that is deeply sandboxed, and here's what I'm going to do to attempt to get it out.

On some pages, I realized I had more affliate links then I did text, most were search boxes and the links were alot of script, and all were 302 redirects. I removed them all. I think they are weighing down the pages.
I ran a link checker, and fixed all the broken links that I didn't know it had.
I refreshed and reuploaded my original index.htm that I was using before it got sandboxed, where all the links to the internal pages are on the index page.

I added some more interlinking between my pages, and a couple outbounds to some authority sites.

I know they are saying don't touch your sites during this time, but I just feel maybe I can pull it back up, and the reason it's sandboxed is the result of something I recently did. I'll let you know in 48 hrs if anything has happened.

lizardx

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 8:57 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

<< How about links to the site? No new links and no links removed? How about changes in links to the sites linking to the site? >>

Slow organic link development [very slow, since the site was in the sandbox, it was hard to find using google]. The target search terms jumped about 200 positions overnight. Exactly as expected if there were a flag of some sort that expires. And exactly what I expected to happen since it's fairly clear that such a filter exists and is being used.

Currently more than 50% of my traffic is coming from yahoo/msn. Which is a very big change, the site has the kind of stuff that people used to always use google to find, I never had any significant yahoo traffic before, even though I ranked well for target keywords, geek type stuff.

This suggests to me that more sophisticated users are in fact switching, or have switched, to yahoo/msn in numbers that are becoming significant. Exactly as I would have expected to happen, Google's results are becoming erratic, way too many algo tweaks in way too short a time, the google I was a fan of could be counted on as a bookmark, now my bookmarks in my browser are massive since I can no longer count on consistent google results, especially for technical searches, where I often can't even find what I'm looking for and have to use Yahoo.

When you are looking for an answer to a problem, the age of the site is irrelevant, often there are only a few sites that have those answers, some may be old, some may be new. Playing around with this fact is a very bad strategy for Google to be following. But I don't think they have a choice in this question, this is being forced on them by external constraints, it's not something you would do deliberately. You lower the quality and freshness not because you want to, but because something is making you do that.

mykel79

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 9:00 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sweet Cognac - I meant to write " with the absolute number of clicks". Sorry for the confusion.

Small Website Guy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 3:59 am on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

This suggests to me that more sophisticated users are in fact switching, or have switched, to yahoo/msn in numbers that are becoming significant.

Looking at the referrals for my blog this month, I have 12,000+ from Google, 2500+ from Yahoo and 1200+ from MSN.

Based on the the most common search terms with which people are finding my blog I would certainly say that most are NOT sophisticated, but nevertheless I certainly see no evidence that people are turning away from Google.

I personally use Google as my main search engine, rarely using Yahoo and never using MSN. And I'm as sophisticated as users get.

dvduval

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 4:32 am on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Looking at the referrals for my blog this month, I have 12,000+ from Google, 2500+ from Yahoo and 1200+ from MSN.

And now for an example of a site that is sandboxed by Google, but Yahoo is ranking.:
- Yahoo 15,007
- MSN 7,913
- Google 1,688
- Ask Jeeves 525

Though Google contributes an enormous number of visitors to a majority of my sites, I am learning to cope without Google for newer sites. ;)

lizardx

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 5:53 am on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

<< Based on the the most common search terms with which people are finding my blog I would certainly say that most are NOT sophisticated, but nevertheless I certainly see no evidence that people are turning away from Google. >>

The searchers in question are doing sophisticated searches, for technical questions. Maybe I shouldn't have worded it the way I did, it's the search terms that are sophisticated, not the searchers, I don't know anything about them. What I'm seeing now is something I've never seen before, growing numbers of technically oriented users not using google. This is the first time I've been getting any significant traffic from non google sources, that's why I think it's a significant point.

What you see on your site is about the same pattern I see on a standard commercial site I do, that's the inertia I was referring to, the standard user takes a lot longer to switch than your average geek, sort of the rats leaving a sinking ship idea, only google isn't really sinking, it's just making some pretty serious mistakes. Plenty of time to fix it, at least 6 months, but after that, I don't know, I'd sell my google shares sooner than later, well, I'd sell them now, they are at least 10 times over priced, that won't last forever.

McMohan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26753 posted 6:10 am on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I haven't given up on Google yet -

Rather, I search with "allintitle" :)

Gives me good results though

Mc

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