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Sandbox Question and SEO for Google
Will a new website be sandboxed
sachin_ch




msg:772344
 2:52 pm on May 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

i was told by a person who claims to be a SEO that if i have a new website, i must not get into link exchange and should only look up for one way links.

He said the reason being, my website will be sandboxed by google in case i get into reciprocal linking.

I think one way linking will be difficult and even will cost me lot more compared to reciprocals.

Please help me with the situation.

thanks
Sachin

 

testy




msg:772345
 5:37 pm on May 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

if you are new you have lot to learn here.

Any new website will be put in to sandbox.

you can get one way links by submitting to web directories, there are lot of free directories.

Wizard




msg:772346
 5:45 pm on May 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Most people say that sandbox is a penalty for new sites for acquiring too many links in short time. The theory that's up to reciprocal links is something new for me.

Of course, reciprocal linking is said to be depreciated, as clearly sites might abuse it to manipulate Google results. So even old sites shouldn't have too many reciprocal links (comparing to one-way links).

Natural links are both one way and reciprocal. So this is the way to go. And I disagree that one way links are more difficult to get. The pages that offer reciprocal linking are not especially valuable anyway, and you've got to contact them and thrash your site with links back to them. And if a small page reciprocates with a big one, there is more PR benefit for the big - or so it seemed to me when I simulated it according to historical PR formula - maybe it's changed, but I bet it hasn't.

And how to get plenty one way links?

DMOZ. And other established directories. DMOZ listing transfers to hundreds backlinks from DMOZ affiliate directories. And in every country there are many other directories. Category pages where your link may be are usually PR 3-5. Unfortunately, there are many outbounds on these pages, but you can't expect better on pages involved with mass reciprocal linking.

Sponsoring free online services. You can sacrifice a bit of your resources to create something for other people, like free blogs, free hosting, free guestbooks, free forums and add link to your page on this services. People using it will bring a little PR to their blogs/guestbooks/forums and you'll gain from it.

Analyse your logs and look what are people looking for, not only in means of your sales, but also in means of informational resources they might need. Make some more pages with information they're looking for, even if it's not connected to goods/services you sell. You'll attract some natural links to these pages.

I might list much more, it's just a matter of imagination to find more ways. Are there really so many methods of getting reciprocals?

sachin_ch




msg:772347
 6:06 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

great information wizard.
thanks for sharing all the knowledge.

But one thing i want to know is that

IS there any way to avoid getting into sandbox?

jdhuk




msg:772348
 6:59 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

IS there any way to avoid getting into sandbox?

There is no step by step guide to avoid the filter. Just build your links slowly and don't optimize your pages to aggressively.

I just had a 2 month old domain miss the sandbox :) and for quite a competitive KW target to. How did I do it? I just don't know, it wasn't much different to my other sites that are well and truly buried.

There are some good on topic inbounds to the domain and also I linked out to the top 5 authority sites in my niche, 2 of those are .gov did that help? who knows its a guessing game.

activeco




msg:772349
 7:43 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Again: there is no sandbox.

Just penalties.

sachin_ch




msg:772350
 5:56 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

hi activeco,
you said this
Again: there is no sandbox

===============

can you explain it a bit more.

=======

i have a new travel website and will anyone give me some advice on what i should do?

Build say 1000 one way links?

or build 2000 reciprocal?

i want to start with quickly and have people who can give me links within a month's time.

can anyone suggest one more thing

I am having the website with many sub domains. will the penalty give to one sub domain be applied to other ones as well?

Thanks for your time and sharing the concepts.

Sachin

inbound




msg:772351
 6:15 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

The sandbox is a 'delayed benefit' filter in my opinion. Say you get some links for a new site (or established site but less noticable), you would expect them to help immediately (read once spidered and indexed), however Google seems to have decided to delay the benefit by around 6 to 12 months.

I had a site come out of the sandbox just this month (due to Bourbon) and I've tested all sorts of stuff on it, the very specialist queries have hardly been assisted, the ones targeted in links have had a huge boost.

So the sandbox seems to have simply delayed the benefit for the link targeted terms.

The bottom line is that new sites probably have to spend on Adwords or just wait if they want Google traffic.

aris1970




msg:772352
 6:20 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

i have a new travel website and will anyone give me some advice on what i should do?

Build say 1000 one way links?

or build 2000 reciprocal?

IMO even 50 one-way links are much better than 2000 reciprocal, if we consider that the links are not coming from "bad neighbourhoods".

i want to start with quickly and have people who can give me links within a month's time.

I definitely suggest to spread your links in time. Do NOT have all your friends/people link back to you within one week; better get one link each week - or day or month, depending on the total number of friends you have :) - instead.

I am having the website with many sub domains. will the penalty give to one sub domain be applied to other ones as well?

From my experience a penalty is applied to a domain, so if you get a penalty ALL your subdomains will suffer as well.

------

Generally speaking though, you seem to be ready to take some SEO actions very offensively. I advice you to be careful and patient in order to avoid a mass hit by Google. My 2 cents... Good Luck!

Gorilla




msg:772353
 6:23 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)


Again: there is no sandbox.

Just penalties.

The word "sandbox" is used as a name on one type of penalty in order to be able to talk about it. Nothing wrong with that.

The general belief is that this penalty is applied to sites that aquire links "to fast" or from the "wrong sources".

activeco




msg:772354
 8:04 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

sachin_ch: Build say 1000 one way links?
or build 2000 reciprocal?

IMO, if you can get even 100 one way links, you should profit much better than 5000 reciprocal.
However, I doubt that even one way links could be the right answer.
Don't forget that Google's SE technology is mostly based on links, so after all that time it seems they finally perfected it in finding the LEGITIMATE links which add the real value to a web site.
It is not uncommon today that sites with very few natural links perform much better than sites with thousands of "built out" ones.

Inbound: The bottom line is that new sites probably have to spend on Adwords or just wait if they want Google traffic.

Right. Isn't that natural?

Gorilla: The general belief is that this penalty is applied to sites that aquire links "to fast" or from the "wrong sources".

It has never been such general belief about Sandbox until very recently, when Sandbox defenders tried a new escape to turning it into something completely opposite of what original concept was.

The Sandbox as imagined for the first time had a set of very strict rules with the basic pillar of "new site = time delay". The linkage was never a part of it.
Many SEO-ers were very confused with their new sites born with 10,000 links, DMOZ listed, validated and properly keyword-ed, not showing up at the Google's first page as they belonged there.
Hence, the Sandbox theory.
The legend is still around, accepted as a fact by many.

inbound




msg:772355
 8:50 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes activeco - I think it's right that people should pay or wait, there's no such thing as entitlement to good rankings

The probelm is that too many people have had it too good for too long and there are toys being jetisoned from large prams left, right and centre.

Lorel




msg:772356
 9:08 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)


Don't forget that Google's SE technology is mostly based on links, so after all that time it seems they finally perfected it in finding the LEGITIMATE links which add the real value to a web site.

Hmmmmm. could this be why Google's backlink record keeps dropping with every update? i.e., they only show sites that pass PR--which we currently can't see (see thread in googletoolbar):

[webmasterworld.com...]

Swebbie




msg:772357
 2:52 am on May 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think it's right that people should pay or wait, there's no such thing as entitlement to good rankings

If we take Google at its word, then their goal is to provide the most relevant results for every search. Does anyone still believe that is their actual goal? If so, I'd like to interest you in buying the Brooklyn Bridge. :-)

It's obvious that the very fact of an age delay of any kind defeats the goal of providing the most relevant results. I might create a resource that blows the top 10 pages in SERPs out of the water in terms of actual benefit to visitors and laser-targeted relevance to specific searches. But it won't be seen for months, maybe even more than year on Google. Why? Because it's new. That's a joke. I'd have much more respect for Google if they dropped the phony attempt to convince us all that they really just have the best interests of users in mind. Please.

This has all come about (imho) from the basic flaw in their underlying philosophy of placing heavy emphasis on links. Didn't the founders have enough foresight to see that the system would be gamed as it has been? Duh.

Google can only dig itself out of this mess now by de-emphasizing links, re-emphasizing content relevance, and putting all their brilliant minds to work on ways to sort out the crap from the original and useful.

aris1970




msg:772358
 12:09 pm on May 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I might create a resource that blows the top 10 pages in SERPs out of the water in terms of actual benefit to visitors and laser-targeted relevance to specific searches.

Dear Swebbie,

I suggest that you outsource your services; there are "so many" widgets out there that there is no much laser-targeted content for........

Please be more realistic and precise.

But it won't be seen for months...

Would you get all the potential customers within the first month if you were to open a new store in your city?

PS. This doesn't mean that I am not also affected by this G policy; but I do understand the context under which this decision was taken. And as you ask, this is what G's brilliant minds thought of. :)

jaffstar




msg:772359
 12:21 pm on May 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google can only dig itself out of this mess now by de-emphasizing links, re-emphasizing content relevance, and putting all their brilliant minds to work on ways to sort out the crap from the original and useful.

Google has created their own currency and a worldwide currency known as pagerank. Sites sell links based on the Green Bar. Without this green bar, you will see a collapse of this economy and it will make the trade/selling/bartering of links far more complex.

The best is yet to come....

sachin_ch




msg:772360
 12:27 pm on May 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

thanks a lot for all those concepts and ideas

i know that its not easy to be on the top and beat all the people who have been working hard on their websites for so long.

once again, thanks for sharing good knowledge about sandbox.

i had been hearing it for long time, but wasn't aware of what it does.

thanks once again.

sachin

roadhazard




msg:772361
 12:30 pm on May 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

My site is one month out of the sandbox penalty phase. However, it gets very few Google search hits, maybe 1-3 a day is all. 1000 white hat optimized pages. But the pages hit are in the index now at least. The site is one year old. Competitors on page 1 and 2 of G and Y SERPS are FIVE or FIVE and 1/2 years old. We just have to wait...keep building and wait... Others have said that G wants seasoned older sites in the early SERPS. I agree. It certainly looks that way. No, there are no more free rides. Miss the old G Days, but have to ride the new G. wave, like it or not... G has most of the traffic, so pay or wait is what it looks like...

sachin_ch




msg:772362
 12:32 pm on May 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

i have made up my mind

I will spend one month on the website and will not care about google at all.

i have optimised pages.

will spend one month and create as many links as i can get.

Then lets see if i can prove the theories wrong

Will definately tell u about the future of this website.

SACHIN

ratherbeboating




msg:772363
 7:26 pm on May 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I just had a 2 month old domain miss the sandbox :) and for quite a competitive KW target to. How did I do it? I just don't know, it wasn't much different to my other sites that are well and truly buried.

There are some good on topic inbounds to the domain and also I linked out to the top 5 authority sites in my niche, 2 of those are .gov did that help? who knows its a guessing game. "

I am experimenting around with writing my own webcrawler and I would say that definitely it would change relevance to link into .gov with two relevant links. If they are relevant, it would be a powerful thing to do. (they don't link into other ad sites and they also link to other still relevant sites. Puts you in the middle of a spiders web of relevant material. Makes you look relevant five links deep.)

Another thing you may have done that is a no-brainer on a search engine is the word frequency list. A normal site will always follow a word frequency list that is very formulaic in nature. Approximately fifty percent of the words will occur once, ten percent twice, etc, until you get up to 95%. Anything too far out of the ordinary marks it as an unnatural language. I would bet that besides the .gov links, your site also meets the natural language tests.

ratherbeboating




msg:772364
 7:31 pm on May 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh, forgot to explain the part above 95%. The words expected there are copyright, tags for the cs stuff, things like that. They shouldn't be relevant.

Swebbie




msg:772365
 10:38 pm on May 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I suggest that you outsource your services; there are "so many" widgets out there that there is no much laser-targeted content for........

Please be more realistic and precise.

Yes, well, it's clear from this response that you failed to grasp my meaning. I'm not saying that I have built pages that would definitely rise to the top of the SERPs. I'm saying that *IF* I (or anyone else) did do so with a brand new domain, they'd be sandboxed just like every other new domain. Get it?

So this very fact nullifies any assertion by Google that their primary goal is to produce the best, most relevant results for their users' searches. The only possible way to have an engine that satisfies that goal is to disregard entirely such things as how old a page is. I'm sure there are plenty of dog s*** pages out there that are 5 years old and rank much higher than plenty of other 2 month-old pages that are much more relevant and much more informative. If you still believe that Google is after the best results, you're living in a fairy tale.

aris1970




msg:772366
 10:53 pm on May 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Swebbie,

I really grasped your meaning, I was just a little sarcastic and I apologize if it disturbed you. What I meant is that I rarely have the chance to see laser-targeted content from new sites... It's not that easy.

Here comes a proof that IF someone has such "laser-targeted content", he can overcome Google penalty...

I developed a website with unique content about a topic that only other 2 sites existed for it as their main topic, last January. After 1 month, the site was in the top20 among 800,000 results. The reason? Unique content, laser-targeted content (I really liked your term!) and few but high-quality one-way links from authoritative sites (1 or 2 from .edu sites among them).

I am sorry but your theory is totally wrong IMO.

If you still believe that Google is after the best results, you're living in a fairy tale.

Well, the problem is obviously NOT what I believe, but what internet users out there believe. My main job is not to judge the SE, but to do my best to produce cool results for the websites I take care of. Thanks and good luck with your websites.

PS. The website I refered to is now 5 months old and is #4 among 950,000 results on Google, while #1 on MSN and Yahoo...

Swebbie




msg:772367
 3:08 am on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

aris,

No worries. I was being a bit sarcastic myself in the reply. :-)

I should have made myself clearer in my first post about this. I was referring to decent rankings for terms that actually get searched for a significant number of times. I can build pages all day long (anyone can) that you can find in the SERPs with the right search phrases. Even a sandboxed site will show up for specific enough searches. But what good is it doing you if it's hardly ever searched by SE users?

I've had a site (new domain) in the sandbox for almost 16 months now at Google. Meanwhile, it's making a decent monthly income in AdSense revenue and other sales solely on traffic from Yahoo, MSN, the little SE fish, and various links from directories and related sites. I realize that Google is the big boy on the block and everyone wants as much traffic as possible from them (myself included). But I finally stopped worrying myself sick over G's latest incarnation and the sandbox. Now, if/when my sites finally get out of Google "jail," it'll be a pleasant boost, but not the end-all be-all of my existence. LOL

To bring this back around, many sites near the top of G's SERPs are obviously not as relevant and not as useful as some of those farther down the list and in the sandbox. It's all well and good for G to be trying to curtail spam, but they should be honest and stop pretending that their primary goal is providing the best relevant results. Their actions clearly disprove that assertion. Their PRIMARY goal is keeping spam out, using tools like the sandbox, age filtering, etc. Their SECONDARY goals include providing on-topic results.

Sparkys_Dad




msg:772368
 3:45 am on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google stands alone in its focus on developing the "perfect search engine," defined by co-founder Larry Page as something that, "understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want."
http://www.google.com/corporate/tech.html

Aris--

If you have a losing hand you should fold it rather than continue throwing good money after bad.

Swebbie is completely correct. Google has pushed relevance way down on its list of ranking factors.

They have become so concerned with being "gamed," that they have let the quality of their results degrade steadily over the last two years. Their results were better when they were being gamed.

Call it a "sandbox," call it a "filter," call it a "penalty," it's very real and very wrong.

Their attitude is straight out of "the-one-kid-misbehaves-so-we-punish-the-whole-class" school.

Reverse engineering is an accepted part of the business world. I suggest that they get used to it before they completely destroy what was once the best search engine on the Web, period. These days the distinction is not so clear. I mean, have Yahoo! and MSN improved so much, or has Google gotten worse?

And while their market share currently remains unrivaled, that can change dramatically within a few short years.

As it stands today, a new site may have the only information on the Web pertaining to how a certain celebrity parts their hair. But if it happens to be a new site, the searcher will never find it.

Why should the age of a site have any effect on rankings? Shouldn't relevance to the query be the ultimate determining factor?

Why should a link from an inefficient, hit-and-mostly-miss, prejudiced, unworkable, held-together-with-duct-tape idea like the DMOZ have any effect on rankings? Shouldn't relevance to the query be the ultimate determining factor?

And why should anyone's ability to pay Yahoo! $300 a year have any effect on their Google rankings? Shouldn't relevance to the query be the ultimate determining factor?

I have been a lurker here for years, but have reached the point where I can no longer sit back and remain silent while Google apologists try to explain away Google's newest tick or hairball with stomach-turning, sychophantic "it's not for me to judge, I'll just keep adding good content" arguments.

BTW--Before you write me off as some bitter, digruntled outsider you should know that I earn my living building and maintining a nine-year-old site that did $5.6 million in Web business last year. Our rankings have continued to improve throughout this year and we are presently on target for $7.5 million in Web revenues for 2005. These numbers would not have been possible without Google, as our rankings make us the #1 Web presence in our field. I and the Inc 500 company I work for owe much to Google.

That being said, I will not remain silent as Google continues its attempts to perfect its Netscape imitation.

Natashka




msg:772369
 4:08 am on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

OK, so I've learnt from this thread that "sandbox" or whatever you call it is not actually a penalty for acquiring links too fast, but just a time delay for all new sites. It's like a waiting period that everybody with rare exceptions must go through.

Now, my question is: how long is that period? I understand it varies, for different reasons and for different topics, but what is genrally considered TOO long and when should you start being concerned that "sandbox" had turned into a real penalty for something? I asked this question several times in several threads and nobody ever answered.

For example, is it normal to be in sandbox for 8 months for, lets say, dating topic?

Swebbie




msg:772370
 6:04 am on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sparky's Dad,

THANK YOU for writing so eloquently and passionately what I and MANY others have been feeling more and more as Google continues to utterly destroy their once-excellent search engine. Yes, I make my living 100% from my websites, so yes, I have a vested interest in the SERPs. But I'm also a Google user, and that's becoming less and less frequent as I'm beginning to find Yahoo SERPs more relevant.

I firmly believe that Google painted themselves into this inevitable corner by basing the entire premise on linking. Geez Googleplex, swallow your damn pride and admit that there's a ghost in the machine already. They seem to want to put up this Sisyphusean battle to roll that rock up the hill over and over again, only to see it come crashing down with every update lately. Someone who can reach them, please tell them that the rock is LINKING! It's killing them. It was easily gamed, and they should damn well have seen that coming long ago. Now they're throwing out babies with bathwater at an alarming rate and the idiotic sandbox has to rank right up there as one of the dumbest ideas to come down the Superhighway in many a moon.

OK, done ranting (for now).

aris1970




msg:772371
 5:19 pm on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Sparkys_Dad,

It seems our opinions are so much different. Anyway, just some quick comments:

Google has pushed relevance way down on its list of ranking factors.

Correct but this is exactly what I should expect from G to do: try to add more factors in order to avoid spamming of SERPs.

...they have let the quality of their results degrade steadily over the last two years. Their results were better when they were being gamed.

I am sorry but as I said, it's not my job to judge G quality but to have good rankings for my websites. As people in my country say: The results prove if something is successful. And G seems to be absolutely successful until now...

Call it a "sandbox," call it a "filter," call it a "penalty," it's very real and very wrong.

As I told you this "sandbox" effect is not applied to ALL sites. Send me a PM and I will give you the URL to check my site that didn't suffer at all.

And while their market share currently remains unrivaled, that can change dramatically within a few short years.

I am sorry again but it's been several years that I keep reading such notes. Not proved yet at all.

Why should the age of a site have any effect on rankings?

It's strange that you cannot understand the reason that age could have SOME (I don't mean big!) effect on rankings.

If you read "Since 1894" outside a store or next to brand, will this have any effect on your consumer attitude? Absolutely yes for the average consumer...

Shouldn't relevance to the query be the ultimate determining factor?

It should NOT be the ONLY determining factor, EXACTLY because it is very easily abused and controlled. Imagine results using only the relevance factor when searching for travel insurance or home loans! I can't even think of it...

Before you write me off as some bitter, digruntled outsider you should know that...

I would never do such thing. :) I respect all the different opinions, although I remain on my arguments.

I just think that some of your notes for G are wrong and using relevancy as the ultimate factor is NOT a realistic point of view.

Thank you,
Aris

Katie_Venra




msg:772372
 5:40 pm on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well the "sandbox" is something that my site has never been in.

As for "new" sites being submitted to google, well, heres the story of the siteiwork for.

February of this year we were on our old domain, a sub.domain.com type of address. EVERY (and i mean every) keyword phrases we put in (and there was about 35 main ones) had us listed in the top 3, normally in the no 1 position.

We had been on this domain for 4 years previously, and slowly we optimised the meta tags and other parts of the site after reading the webmasterworld forums, thats what gave us the good rankings and page ranks (the index.htm page was PR 8, the rest PR 5 or 6).

March of this year we moved, to a completely different server with a different IP and a different sub/domain.com address. We done the links from the old server to the location of the new server. Within less than 2 weeks the new site was replacing the old site's pages, we didnt lose rank at all (we did lose page rank though).

April of this year, we moved AGAIN. This time we was not bale to link to the new server address which is a full keyword .com address from the old sub/domain.com as we got thrown off the hosting. We moved back to our old hosts but with our own domain and not subdomained. SO this time we had to start from scratch by adding our URL to dmoz, google, zing (or whatever that other directory is called) Yahoo, MSN and a few others.

We done that 2 weeks ago...our site is now in the top 5 rankings for 29 out of the 35 main keywords. The other keyworkds which are lacking has seen us move from page 36 on the rank to page 2 in the space of a few days. The update in google is still taking place with regards to the site i help run as the rankings are still going up, and we still have all the old outbound links in our gaming directory and reciprocal links as well.

BillyS




msg:772373
 5:59 pm on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

More power to you if you can avoid the sandbox. Just be warned that many new domains do not exhibit signs of the sandbox at first.

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