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This 318 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 318 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 11 > >     
Matt Cutts on the Google Sandbox
Secrets of the sandbox revealed at Pubcon?

 10:45 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

The existence of a new-site "sandbox" (which delays the site being ranked well for months) has been a topic of debate among SEOs.

In reply to a question from Brett Tabke, Matt said that there wasn't a sandbox, but the algorithm might affect some sites, under some circumstances, in a way that a webmaster would perceive as being sandboxed.

So, for some sites, in effect there IS a sandbox.



 5:26 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

DaveAtIFG said: 'I got the impression that it only affects sites in "certain industries," perhaps from some of Matt's subsequent remarks.'

This is my take on his comments as well.


 5:31 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Those of us that have created sites that got sandboxed (I have one that stayed in the sandbox for 18 months) should look at those sites and decide what it is about them that Google doesn't like.

A friend of mine: "I was wondering why the sites of my customers didn't appear until I used adwords, then they suddenly ranked"

Yeah sure Google will like it. ;) And Yahoo etc etc any company would like it.. There is nothing wrong with trying to make a dollar or a billion, giving obvious holy lines :\ that's what I have a problem with ..

And that they didn't know about such a large scale effect of their algorithm is another point .. it's scary if above statement is true ... ;)


 5:36 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

If anyone asked about the Supplemental Index what was the response?


 5:39 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why ask Matt Cutts any question?

You must be joking - these people are Matt's groupies!

When he speaks an eerie silence falls over the room like E.F. Hutton was there!

After he gives a talk people herd around him like lepers chasing a messiah and at one point so many people clustered around Matt I think they started to form their own gravity as innocent passers by ended up in a elliptical orbit around the pack until they could no longer resist it's pull and got stuck on the outer rings.

I jokingly suggested to Matt at the end of the day that he has so many followers that he should start his own cult since they were already drinking the koolaid ;)


 5:39 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you can do that you'll benefit. But if all you can do is complain that Google is broken and doesn't deliver fresh results, then you're just waisting time.

Why not speak once mind as G is speaking their mind with their code and try to live with the realities of today. That way Google knows about what is wrong [ergo get feedback] and you individually in paralell try to deal what's up with G today you have both sides covered. In end effect getting complaints tells you what is wrong with your company. Google business is indeed complex and doing such an algorithm is certainly difficult. On the other hand they have a shootload of money and the resources to try to fix it. We are talking about G here as a company and not about individuals. :) At least I do.

But I appreciate what you try to say. :)


 5:47 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

What amuses me most is some people refuse to accept the reality that not everyone can actually get listed even in the top 100 of a keyword as they forget many web sites that came before them have a very strong oranigc link network and virtually own their space.

"We can't get into the keyword <whine> we must be sandboxed <whine> as there is no other reason."



 6:14 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

for me a sandbox is when you dont rank for your domain and get less then 10 hits from google and you always see when a site gets out of the sandbox it recieves many more then 1000% more visits and a single little change in a update is not enogh to do that.


 6:23 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

[quote]Here is my definition of the sandbox.

The sandbox is a term webmasters use when their site (which OBVIOUSLY deserves the No1 position)is nowhere to be seen in the google index.[quote]

Perhaps their tactics "OBVIOUSLY" would rank number one a few years ago. Perhaps even sites created a few years ago are using those tactics and successfully ranking highly. This does not mean that these new sites are seen to "deserve" a top spot by GOOG; right or wrong.

Among other things, just like in life, there are different rules for people of different ages (see no drinking in US till 21). There are ways to bend (break) the rules (fake ID) but generally these methods cause harm.

As far as the Sandbox goes, there are many methods by which webmasters and SEO's are getting top rankings for competitive terms with sites created (registered) in 2005. There is not one simple methodology thus there is obviously a scale of factors with different weighting that when mixed and matched can result in a site ranking highly with no more than a few months delay.


 6:24 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

If 10,000 web sites are all competing in the same space, who says your site should rank anymore than any of the others?

I wouldn't call that a sandbox, that's just tough cookies.

Per Matt's discussion, what's perceived as a 'sandbox' is more Google trying to prevent spam sites so a better descriptive word would be a "Spambox".


 6:30 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh, and this industry specific concept... nonsense. Sites ranking competitively, that were registered in '05, run the gamut from car related, luxury goods related, training, office supplies, business services, telephony, etc.

For the most part notably missing are P.P.C. and there are very few travel. Most likely these are just too hyper-competitive for top rankings in this short amount of time without raising a flag.


 6:31 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

LOL, SpamBox: That's a solid alternative!


 6:46 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sandbox is for me not getting spidered by G at all.

aka site:www.ignoredbygoggle.com

brings up 0 hits :) every submission etc gets ignored UNTIL UNTIL you buy adwords.. ;)

I don't mean not ranking while being in G's index.


 6:58 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sandbox is for me not getting spidered by G at all.

Jeez, buy a link already. ;-)


 7:03 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

dont let the sandbox die!




 7:09 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

OK let's say then Google's tarpitting :D

The Sandbox is dead we have a tarpit now .. ;)


 8:53 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

What I don't understand is why Google don't just come clean. We all know that it exists so what's the point in continuing to deny it?

Maybe Google is a company made for profit? And maybe they're not supposed to be telling us these kinds of things?

Maybe, just maybe, google tells you just enough so you tell them even more?

Or I could be wrong, Google is here to help SEO.


 8:53 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I needed a good giggle today. "10-15 referals per day" is presented as evidence of no sandbox effect existing! Post of the decade.


 9:05 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't call that a sandbox, that's just tough cookies.

Sandbox is to Tough Cookies as Intelligent Design is to Darwinism.


 9:36 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

If 10,000 web sites are all competing in the same space, who says your site should rank anymore than any of the others?
I wouldn't call that a sandbox, that's just tough cookies.

Yawn .... there still here, suggesting that guys like me don't know their sandbox from their elbow.

Gimme a break will you!

Bill , I have often read with interest the stuff you write. Don't spoil it. I know what the sandbox is, please don't insult me. I can do a search for Web design country and I am in the number two position. Guess what? I am up against many thousands of web designers, not just a few chancers, so I must have at least a clue about what I am doing. No?

The sandbox is real!

Edit: written after half a dozen pints of Guinness :)


 10:57 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

So Matt Cutts is going to spill GOOG'$ corporate secrets to a load of webmasters at pubcon, who will then post what they learn on a forum that's read by thousands of people?


 11:38 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

" So Matt Cutts is going to spill GOOG'$ corporate secrets to a load of webmasters at pubcon, who will then post what they learn on a forum that's read by thousands of people? "

He seemed more than willing to not answer questions when necessary.


 12:26 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can do a search for Web design country and I am in the number two position.

Are you serious? I'm certainly not knocking your abilities, just your chosen example. Surely you must have a better example than that to give.

How many people come to your web site searching for 'web design country'? Overture shows 36 total searches...


 12:40 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

So from I gather from this thread is that the Sandbox effect may be loosely described as a bug in the algo(per Matt Cutts). Unintended feature.

One of the ways you find a bug is you test for all the design recommendations recommended by Google. The bug should not be invoked.

This would suggest that if you follow all Googles web design guide (if there is such a thing) to the letter, that you should not be affected by the bug.

Is this too simplistic? Probably, but I think I will go and try to find Google "Website Design Recommendations" now...

and Guinness is Good For You.


 12:52 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

IMHO, I firmly believe there is a sandbox. The reason for it is very simple...

Google naturally wants to meet market expectations and keep share holders happy. An increase in ADWORDS revenue will help Google do just that.

Webmasters that are anxious to get their new website noticed that's in a sandbox will be more inclined to do so via Adwords.

It's a solid and very smart business move by the smart people at google.

Abviously this is just speculation on my part, but I wouldn't be surprise that if the data was available to the public, you would see an increase in Google adwords revenue since this sandbox surfaced.

The reality is that it's becoming increasing difficult to get on the free train - most of us have to pay to play. Google is in business to make money and simply making smart business decisions.

Just my 2 cents...


 2:15 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

With all due respect to BDW...

I've ran into the "sandbox effect" a few times. And I have read what the experts say about it here. So I know it's real.

But I've also had a couple of sites that avoided it. Both ranked adequately on Google within a month. One site had about 10 pages and the other had about 8500. Each came up in the top 10 for the queries I wanted within a month. So I am confident that the "sandbox effect" can be avoided.

Both of my sites that avoided it had:
1) Domains that had never been registered before and had not been parked or left unattended with "under construction pages"
2) Unique IP addresses
3) Completely unique content
4) Started with a single page of content, with more content added nearly every day until they ranked.
5) Over 200 words of paragraph text on the home page
6) One link from my company's website (PR5)
7) One link from another client's website (PR6)
8) A $299 submission in the Yahoo directory
9) Validated html and css
10) A robots.txt file
11) No other registrations on any other cheap directories or any other inbound links until after they ranked.
12) Both sites were simple static html
13) I had several employees visit each site nearly everyday from computers with the Google Toolbar installed, from multiple states
14) The small site used AdWords, the big site did not

I don't know if any of the aboved caused the "sandbox detour" or if I just got lucky because they had the "sandbox server" down for repairs those days. ;-) But I do know I missed it twice and I hope to miss it again in the future.


 3:02 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

dfud, how much incoming traffic was there to the sites altogether over the first few weeks it was up?


 4:24 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

The smaller site sells an expensive niche product that we expect very little traffic on, so we were delighted with 20 to 30 referrals each day.

The big site has a broader appeal and goes after thousands of keyword phrases. Within a month it was getting 400 to 900 referrals each day.


 4:46 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's not a sandbox, it's just the age of your backlinks. New site? New backlinks. Too easy.


 4:52 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Years from now when it's known what the reasons are for the so called sandbox, I bet the answer to beating it or shortening it is surprisingly simple. And I'd also bet most of the answers are in the patent doc.

I haven't beaten the sandbox yet, but I have had some success shortening it. The list posted a few posts back is a very good guide from my experience. Number 4 being the best clue to why and how it works.


 4:55 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

"sandbox" = Google devaluing ALL your links because they think you cheated, and yes, it can happen on new and established sites.


 5:06 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

That sounds like Google. "There is no sandbox but there is a square thing that holds the stuff you find on beaches."

This 318 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 318 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 11 > >
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