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Can 1,5 year old site go back into the sandbox?

 1:40 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can sites that are over 1,5 years old go to the sandbox again?

I for example have a site: mysite.com . When i search for 'mysite' it lists all sites that tell a story about 'mysite.com'. Google lists mysite.com at the end of the results.

I've not have been banned cause mysite.com still appears in the results. My PR is still 6.

Before the google update of last christmas mysite.com was listed on the first result page. Now it is at the bottom of the last result page.

I waited about 6 weeks to see if this was just a glitch in google system, but it appears to stay this way. Is there anything i can do to get my site back to the top?

Is there maybe something else between being banned and being in the sandbox again?




 4:59 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

There should be no space between site: and example.com in the google search query.



 5:27 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

yes.. a site , no matter how old or prominent can get sandboxed. i have faced it and it was real bad then.


 7:02 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I bought a load of s/h sites that were old and a number where banged up because of over enthusiasm on my part.


 7:13 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi JudgeJeffries,

Do you think your sites were sandboxed because all content and URLs were altered in one go?



 9:06 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I banged up to many reciprocal links to fast.


 9:20 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can sites that are over 1,5 years old go to the sandbox again?

No they can't. That assumes that the sandbox is a "thing" that sites are put into, which it isn't - it's an effect. There's a set of requirements and filters that when combined can cause the effect referred to as the sandbox that keeps many (or most) new sites from ranking, which is simply because they haven't yet met necessary requirements, or they're running into filters.

Older sites that are "out" don't get "put back into" what isn't a thing - if they don't rank or if they lose rankings it's because they're not meeting current algo requirements or they're hitting filters that cause them not to rank.

People are calling everything the "sandbox" no matter what, and that's the wrong thing to do because it isn't so. With an older site, time would be better spent examining the site in question to see what it needs or what might need correcting, or just waiting it out until the algo changes again.


 9:45 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

does anyone know if this search will show all incoming links for google? I get a lot more when I use the brackets:


as opposed to:



 9:59 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

afterburner, you stop using the link command when you put the brackets in there and instead show text occurrences of "link" and "www.example.com". You'll get even more if you try the domain in quotes, this showing all the text occurrences of the URL without also looking for the word "link".


 10:08 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sure any site can go back to some sorta sandbox, but you must really push hard if the site is already old and popular.
Perception of sandbox could be a simple algo tweak which filters your site.


 8:46 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I woulda disagreed w/Marcia, possibly for the first time ever, UNTIL I read her full post. Yes, you can go back into the sandbox. No, the sandbox doesn't exist. You can come out of it, and go back into it. And, it doesn't exist. :-)

Don't do enough; don't get out. Do too much, go back in. Not a sandbox...a PRISON, for site that don't meet standards, according to the world of GOOOOOOOOOOOGle. Heheheheheh. ;-)


 9:19 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not a sandbox...a PRISON, for site that don't meet standards, according to the world of GOOOOOOOOOOOGle. Heheheheheh. ;-)

Google has the freedom to decide what sites it links to, just as any other site does.

To call the sites Google declines to link to a "sandbox" is making an entity out of a simple policy decision.

By that reckoning we all have sandboxes -- the sites we've declined to link to, or even visit despite having spam-invites to do so.

Perhaps it would make sense for every site in the world to publish its sandbox -- ie rather than peck at Google for not doing so, simply start the ball rolling by publishing your own sandbox page with all the URLs you have declined to link to.

Might shame Google into doing the same, especially if there were the last in the world not to do so.


 10:23 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a feeling certain things/issues can cause a "sandbox" type effect.

EG the losing of PR and bad crawling as a result of Canonical and Hijack problems for the homepage could cause the same symptons as outlined by the original post.


 12:05 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

The OP mentioned that PR was 6, presumably unchanged. Canonical should be OK if nothing has changed, but is worthy of a good look. Hijack could certainly be a problem. Is anyone outranking you using your content?

I woulda disagreed w/Marcia .. UNTIL I read her full post
Smart man.

It's worth reading again, then doing.
..time would be better spent examining the site in question..

What, if anything has changed? Me, and my sites, change as we get older. I might also suggest looking at the competition to see if anything has changed, but it's a long shot considering the fall you've experienced. More likely something closer to home is causing you the grief.

This bit of info might help you get back on track. A dropped site checklilst [webmasterworld.com]


 12:53 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've gone through my site a couple weeks ago and found nothing bad (things that google might find bad). Last week i changed the website text to make the keyword densitiy a bit less. But i'm quite sure that this isn't the problem.

The competition seem to have the same problem, a big PR but listed on the last result page. Only the big competition (lets say the really BIG ones) just stay at the top.

Could it be that some competitor has caused this effect?

I've searched for website with the same content text (duplicate filter) but didn't find any.

Will it help when i buy a couple links on PR4 + PR5 related sites? Or should i contact google, i for certain don't want to appear 'pushy' at google.

At the moment i don't support a domainname without www. So everyone is surfing to www.mysite.com, if they surf to mysite.com (without www) a message is displayed (no links).


 1:04 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)


So non-www does not redirect to www? and is displaying different content or an error message.

Could well be your problem.

Has this non-www page been indexed at all? - even url only?

Does it show page rank different from the www (even if it is 0 or grey bar)?

Does it show a different back link count to www?

If those questions are yes then Google could have a problem correctly identifying your site and specifically what is the root page of your site as you may have homepage canonical issues.


 4:59 am on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)



I believe it helps to think of the Sandbox as "0" TrustRank, rather than a penalty associated only with new sites.

Let us assume that all new sites start out with "0" TrustRank. Until certain trust-establishing criteria are met (age of domain, age of inbound links, inbounds from trusted domains, etc.), you will not rank for competitive terms.

Let's say 9 months after launch, you have established sufficient TrustRank and are now ranking for competitive terms. Can you lose that TrustRank? Sure.

A few factors which MAY negatively affect TrustRank:

Completely overhaul your site content--grab your ankles and kiss your rankings goodbye.

Exchange one too many links with low or "0" TrustRank sites--forget reading, writing and arithmetic--you are history.

Rename all of your pages--be prepared to molest the sofa for lunch money.

Add a couple of thousand inbound links in a relatively short time period--grab a stick of butter--you are toast.

Get caught holding the wrong shared IP--say hello to your new cellmate, "Tito"--cuz you're in the big house.

Hope that helps.

P.S. I am not interested in hearing from anyone in Nepal who is ranking well for "monkey nuts" with a brand new site. It doesn't apply here.


 6:07 am on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

..a big PR but listed on the last result page

There is no correlation between the PR of any given page and that page's ranking in the SERP's. I don't recall losing any PR when the Florida update hit us, but the page ranking bottomed out. PR is I.M.O. eye candy and should not be used in any way, shape or form for SEO purposes. It's usefulness as the basis for the worlds largest search engine has been outlived. Forget about PR, look at the other things on your page that do matter.

I feel like I ranted... sorry. Things do change, and maybe one of these days the PR factor will fall back into favor.

[edited by: grandpa at 6:08 am (utc) on Jan. 30, 2006]


 6:08 am on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)


I agree, and I have stated before in these threads that "sandbox" is Google devaluing ALL your links, enabling even the cheesiest directory to rank before "your-name.com."


 4:16 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a hobby site of my own that I first put up in 2000. Up until 2003, it ranked fantastically well in Google, even though I never did anything to actually optimize it that way. Then *zip*. Nada. It wasn't being penalized, as far as I could tell, because it was still being listed in with the site:mydomain.com command, but it didn't come up on anything even close to a relevant search. I optimized and added content and optimized again, and did everything I could think of - and nothing. The site was getting tons and tons of hits from Yahoo and MSN, and none from Google. I even emailed them to ask if there was some penalty going on that I didn't know about, and they mailed back and said no. I had reasonably good links to my site, including some articles about it in the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News - heck, even the State of Michigan (a .gov site) linked to it - and I still couldn't get a SERP in Google.

Then suddenly last year, with the Bourbon update, my site was all over the place - #1 for pretty much all of my search terms. I hadn't done anything new to it in months, having pretty much given up. It's just that whatever algorithm change they made that time, it got picked up again after two years. And it's stayed at the top ever since.

I'm not sure what my point is, except that yea, you can suddenly drop down for seemingly no reason, and then rise up again for seemingly no reason.


 8:40 am on Jan 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

It can be rather confusing.
For what its worth, I beleive that if you completely restructure a site or make radical changes then this will indeed, trigger a filter.
G needs to re-evaluate the site, it's content and structure. As soon as it does, you should pop right back in... where G thinks you belong!
So big changes, restructure, sudden increase/decrease in number of pages Etc = filter.
Make changes progressive if possible - onwards and upwards :)

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