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Sandbox Myth
Reverse sandbox effect
shafaki




msg:718816
 3:34 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Still people are talking about the 'sandbox' till today! There is not such thing as sandbox any more. In the past, a search engine used to 'penalize' a site for it being new. This kind of 'descrimination' against new sites was the norm and only the older more established sites got the high recognition from Google and others. It has been a while now since Google realized this was hurting its searches and has introduced new tweaks to its ranking algo to counteract this 'descrimination'. Now, new sites actually get kind of a boost once they are first indexed. After an initial test, Google sees if that boost is well deserved or not. If, according to search patterns by searchers, Google finds that indeed the site deserves good ranking, it preserves the ranking and may even increase it with time. If however the site turned out to be a failure as determined by search patterns, then Google dumps it low in its search results after having given it its initial chance.

No more sandbox crap talk again please. New sites actually get a boost in the new ranking algo of Google, but if they are not up to it, they fall deep down in SERPs.

 

Nitrous




msg:718817
 3:38 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well it may be right in some cases as I have launched sites recently that were indexed and recieving good traffic in a week.

But also launched similar sites that were invisible for 10 months totally and then over a few days start recieving 2500 daily visitors from google.

Both had several good links from high pr sites too.

Added! Theguyaboveme (who is actually below me) types slower than me :)

[edited by: Nitrous at 3:42 pm (utc) on Aug. 2, 2005]

TheGuyAboveYou




msg:718818
 3:38 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hmmm......

So its now official? We have proof :).

indias next no1




msg:718819
 3:50 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think this thread should be transffered to "Google News" forum.

Any how i agree with your views shafaki,

a new domain name which i have not even submitted to any search engines and redirected to a sub directory of my main website have a page rank 3. There is no even a single link to that website from any other webpages. :O

alika




msg:718820
 4:01 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

A site we launched in May now has a PR5 rank, where the only link comes from the homepage of our main site. It also now #8 in its main keyword (83 million searches today).

suidas




msg:718821
 4:09 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think you're being a bit dogmatic, and hasty. The effect you describe is not an anti-sandbox, but another effect which has long been seen. The value of a link varies over time, peaking quickly and then dropping slowly. So, the search engine position of a new site (or page of a site) will rise rapidly for a few days, hit a ceiling and then start to slowly fall—unless more links are forthcoming. For all I know, click-throughs may also be in the mix. The age/value idea is spelled out in the Google patent.

This effect is different from the sandbox effect, although, as you say, it can seem like an anti-sandbox. I launched a site some months ago—when sandbox fever was high—and found no effect. I strongly suspect the sandbox is a function of other things, like the type of content, number of pages, link structure, etc. Its probably something simple—a Bayesian filter or some sort of link rate or pattern test—but it's surely not manual. Whatever it is, it seems to happen to spammers, and not to the legitimate, low-key informational sites like I run.

moneyraker




msg:718822
 5:31 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I launched a site in February which made good on its first month, but disappeared from the face of the earth since then(read: 3 impressions a day for a 60-page site). Given the posts I saw in this forum, I deliberately avoided working on it until it comes 'out of the sandbox', because I'd rather put my efforts into my sites that already have a huge traffic.

Are you now saying that there's really no sandbox that my site will come out of? Which means it will never get out of the black hole unless I start working on it again? I was really hoping it would come out of the sandbox this August. :(

Swebbie




msg:718823
 5:47 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Please post your source for this notion of no more sandbox. I'd like to read the authoritative comments that lead you to such a firm conclusion. If it's merely your opinion, based on nothing more than your own or even a small number of 'cases,' you should divulge that initially to avoid the impression that you're doing more than speculating.

nervo




msg:718824
 5:59 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess I'm missing something here...
I've never personally had a chance to see a sandbox in act. I've launched 4 sites from january up today, and all of them got indexed within few days of upload and made it to SERPS. And all that time I kept seeing numerous posts about sites being burried.. I don't get it, what's all the fuss with the sandbox theory?

PS. As I have never had a chance to know what was the official (trusted) definition of sandbox, it would be very nice if someone can offer a link or something. Thanks.

Atomic




msg:718825
 6:02 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I launched a site last January that did very well for about two months and then every page on my site was buried in Google about 20 pages down. I did some link building and either that or time and the addition of articles slowly and steadily has brought me back to page one for my most coveted pages.

I was really in a panic for a few days and some of this had to do with Bourbon. Perhaps all of it. Now I am launching sites with only a few pages and building them up slowly and trying to add the best content I can. They may take years to fully develop but if this happens again it won't be such a big deal. Hopefully.

Tapolyai




msg:718826
 6:15 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Swebbie, I think shafaki's note is about as good against sandbox as others' notes for the existence of sandbox.

There is no authoritive place to actually go to get "sandbox" information. (Unless you are a G insider.)

Interestingly if you go through WebmasterWorld you will see that the concept of sandbox spread slowly at first, then exponentially. Sort of like a virus.

Interesting, isn't it?

Just because everyone says the earth is flat, it doesn't necessarily mean it is flat.

Swebbie




msg:718827
 7:14 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tapolyai,

Do a Google search for Google sandbox and you'll find lots of info/theories about it. I merely asked Shafaki for his source. His post seemed to indicate that he knew what he was posting to be authoritatively true.

There is not such thing as sandbox any more.

I just wondered what the basis was for this firm conclusion (beyond a very small sample of personal experiences).

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:718828
 7:16 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just because everyone says the earth is flat, it doesn't necessarily mean it is flat.

Just because Shafaki says that there is no sandbox doesn't necessarily mean that there is no sandbox. Here are the nine positive statements that Shafaki made about this ...

1. There is not such thing as sandbox any more.
2. In the past, a search engine used to 'penalize' a site for it being new.
3. This kind of 'descrimination' against new sites was the norm and only the older more established sites got the high recognition from Google and others.
4. It has been a while now since Google realized this was hurting its searches and has introduced new tweaks to its ranking algo to counteract this 'descrimination'.
5. Now, new sites actually get kind of a boost once they are first indexed.
6. After an initial test, Google sees if that boost is well deserved or not.
7. If, according to search patterns by searchers, Google finds that indeed the site deserves good ranking, it preserves the ranking and may even increase it with time.
8. If however the site turned out to be a failure as determined by search patterns, then Google dumps it low in its search results after having given it its initial chance.
9. No more sandbox crap talk again please. New sites actually get a boost in the new ranking algo of Google, but if they are not up to it, they fall deep down in SERPs.

Now here is the evidence presented by Shafaki ...

Error: null string
:)

morpheus83




msg:718829
 8:16 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

One of my sites is sandboxed. It got indexed in July 2nd week and got a PR 6 straight but the google cache is of June 27 still :-(.
So I guess Sandbox is not a myth.

shafaki




msg:718830
 8:41 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Now hold your breath everyone, shafaki, myself, who has created all this stir is going to speak. I will present you with the compelling evidence of the death of the sandbox crap, and its authoritative as authoritative can be. Now all those arguers will fall in silence. To learn about this compelling evidence, see below.

The idea of no more sandbox to me is just a hunch.

(Note: More evidence may be mentioned later, yet of a less compelling nature.)

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:718831
 9:01 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

That's better ;)

TallTroll




msg:718832
 9:08 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have never believed in the sandbox. We launched a brand new domain less than 2 weeks ago. Today, it is #8, #13, #14 for some of it's main phrases, and did over 600 referrals from SE's on Monday.

All this from just 12k pages indexed, and NOTHING showing for a link:search, because the domain is so new. If Google have a sandbox, it's only for people who don't know how to play nice

MHes




msg:718833
 9:33 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

> If however the site turned out to be a failure as determined by search patterns, then Google dumps it low in its search results after having given it its initial chance.

So the spammers are now back in business? Do a new site everyday and get good rankings for a week or so, then let it die..... I don't think so.

Lets make a few things clear:

1) Getting indexed is easy.
2) Getting good rankings for non competitive searches is easy. The search results number is not an indication of search popularity.
3) PR can be high quickly.

You can achieve all of these and still be sandboxed. The reality of sandbox is that if you launched a unique content site 3 years ago you would probably have got 20 times the traffic within the first few weeks than you would get if you launched the site now.

I just wonder if people who say there is no sandbox ever experienced launching a site 3 years ago and experienced the dramatic impact it could achieve. If you got it wrong 3 years ago then yes, you will not be seeing a sandbox effect today because your expectations will be low. But if you experienced getting it right 3 years ago and now see no one, whatever their expertise, achieving the same success instantly, then you know it exists.

'Sandbox' is probably a set of new and clever algo's that applies to all sites, young or old. However, they have a big impact on new sites and prevent them ranking well for big search terms instantly. These new algo's probably have a time factor ingredient, which is the major difference from algo's of the past. For instance, a new link will pass on pr benefit over time, rather than instantly. This will apply to new or old sites.

My conclusion is that 'sandbox' is a collective term for the new algos that apply to all sites, young or old, which have this new 'time sensitive' ingredient. The complication is that in addition to the new sandbox algo's there are other new and better filters (not time sensitive) that will keep a site performing badly, thus giving the illusion that a site is still in the sandbox, when in fact it is not. These other filters may include duplicate content or hilltop factors and have been the reason for new sites or old sites dropping.

MHes




msg:718834
 9:36 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

>and did over 600 referrals from SE's on Monday

Yup, sounds like sandbox to me. If the search terms are competitive, you should be getting 6000 hits, if not competitive then sandbox will be less of an issue.

TallTroll




msg:718835
 9:48 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> If the search terms are competitive, you should be getting 6000 hits

LOL, I don't think so. For the competitive terms, the best place we have is #8, plus some page 2. Given the sites that are above us, and more to the point the sites below us, those are VERY reasonable positions, and OK traffic figures.

Oh, and the site is also getting an extra 3k / day referrals from our other sites that currently hold some positions on high traffic terms. We need to wait for the sites to swap over, which will take a few weeks

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:718836
 10:05 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

We need to wait for the sites to swap over, which will take a few weeks

... or until released from the sandbox ;)

Marval




msg:718837
 10:06 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Totally agree that there never was a "sandbox" other than the one in Google AdWords tools.

There was a small filter that Google brought out about the time everyone started complaining about the sandbox that was used to filter out dmoz and y expireds as well as penalize domains that were bought after they expired - this was discussed many times around here - which eventually morphed into this sandbox idea after the next update was finished for some reason?
I guess everyone that was affected by it kinda lumped a bunch of things into this one idea called sandbox and used it to blame just about any failure of a sites actions in the SERPs on.
Conclusive evidence of no sandbox - you bet a bunch of us that dont ever talk about sandbox have sites (built on brand new - never used) domains that are doing great in the SERPs and were built up gradually for the surfers - just like always

johnyfav




msg:718838
 10:21 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I launched a site 3/4 months ago and while it is now ranking rather well on other well known search engines it is no where to be seen on G.

Is that evidence to back up a sandbox theory?

I have no idea!

MHes




msg:718839
 10:32 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I suppose at the end of the day it is damn difficult to get good rankings these days... or at least, I find it difficult :(

If you are achieving good rankings from the start, well done you.... you are doing it right and winning the seo game.

shafaki




msg:718840
 10:46 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Calm down all of you, Google's own blog, the Google Blog, has a page rank of only 4 :D
[google...] blog.blogspot.com/

MHes




msg:718841
 10:56 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

>page rank of only 4

Page rank counts for little these days. It's the type of links in that count.

karmov




msg:718842
 1:06 pm on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would suggest that the set of penalties formerly known as sandbox still exist but are being applied differently.

I have an article-based website that I keep close tabs on. Recently, one of my articles exhibitted the same behaviour as the sandboxed sites used to. Google was trying to accomplish something with those filters and I doubt they'd just toss them out. However they very likely changed the parameters on them to reduce collateral damage. Quite possibly tuned to a point where some pages could suffer from these filters, while other similar pages on that same site would not.

I only have vague suspicions as to what may have caused the problem, but I have a few hunches I'll be testing out over the next month. It seriously could have just been a fluke, I don't know yet.

I have to say though that in this post, [webmasterworld.com ] the last sentence in Msg #24 is making more and more sense with respect to what I'm seeing.

prairie




msg:718843
 2:47 pm on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

My experience has been that the "rules/filters" for new sites are lax when compared with old sites. Sites I've left online and forgotten about have ranked far better than those I've tried to get anywhere with in recent times.

If you want something to have a better chance of ranking "as is" without losing your hair, put it on the oldest domain you have so long as its related.

If you only have a new site to work with, you're probably going to have to interact with the web to prove yourself. PR doesn't equal good rankings anymore, so we should all relax about letting it flow more readily.

If Brett's suggestion is right, then linking out intelligently serves as an automatic quality control for Google that's customized to the community the set of SERPs are meant to serve.

In this situation, by linking out to pre-existing respected sites, you're probably also fixing the SERPs as they are in place, and you may not rise above those until they link back to you in turn, or you outperform the other sites in other respects.

JaySmith




msg:718844
 3:40 pm on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is a sandbox.. I did a test on another board where I created a site for non compitive keyword in compitive industry.. I also created a page for the same non-compititive keyword. I got a link from a pr6 page going first to new site with anchor text "keyword at sitename" and then the next day got another link on same page with anchor text "keyword at existing sites name"

The exisiting site is a well established site that is not on topic to the keyword in question. The new site was a site that is all about keywords with 20 unique pages of articles.

Keyword density to pages on both sites were the same. I put keyword in title of both and on top h1 tag.

Guess what.. the exisiting site page ranked in top 10 within two weeks. New site just came out of SANDBOX after 8 months during bourban update. Both sites, I kept only that one link to it for first three months.

To me this is absolute proof that there is a sandbox.. Now I'm not saying there is one filter or penalty that is applied. I am saying there are many filters applied that do have some type of age-related elements.

randle




msg:718845
 4:49 pm on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Good post.

Guess what.. the existing site page ranked in top 10 within two weeks.

Has that ranking been maintained, and if so for how long?

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