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Sandboxing nightmare?
I need a plan of action

 8:05 am on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)


I've recently developed and put online an e-commerce solution for my company and we were doing quite well with the search engines but suddenly google has sandboxed us (ie the only page now on google is our homepage). If I give a bit of information I was wondering if people could suggest why and from that I can come up with a plan of action to get back into there good books. :)

We've owned the domain name for many years and only had a basic website up during these years containing company information. The new website uses stylesheets and is clean HTML with no keyword stuffing and metatags that relate to the content of the pages. We were getting search results for the current content putting us between 1 -16 in the results in google since the beginning of may and many pages had been indexed.

We do own other domain names which are on a frames redirect to the main domain which was the only one we submitted to google to index. I know these perhaps should be 301 redirects as they return a 200 code currently but I know many people use frame redirects with no problem and surely it isn't enough to get sandboxed?

Also we have a competitor who has been using adwords to bring themselves up when our company name is typed in. I know this isn't exactly illegal but if they are willing to do that perhaps they put in a complaint about our website and that is why the sudden fall from grace? I thought if someone complained you were either banned of put back to the bottom of goole, not sandboxed?

Thanks if you can help, I am relatively new to all this and need a bit of guidance. Sorry for the long post but I thought as much information as possible might help!

[edited by: caveman at 8:11 am (utc) on May 18, 2006]
[edit reason] Removed specifics, per TOS. [/edit]



 12:30 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've recently developed and put online an e-commerce solution for my company and we were doing quite well with the search engines but suddenly google has sandboxed us (ie the only page now on google is our homepage).

Sounds more like the problem discussed here

than sandboxed, which I always understood as being totally ignored by Google.


 1:42 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks Matt,

I'll have a look at that thread and read through it (It's quite long!). This only happened to me yesterday, I thought i was doing something seriously wrong as the e-commerce site is very new... Even links that are not in a category structure have been exited from google...

Its maddening as 65% of my traffic will now be gone!


 5:40 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did you check all of the DC's to see if your pages are gone?


 8:07 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I didn't check at the time but looking now it seems to be gone from all DC's which might just be because its been a few days.

I'm going to sort out the frame redirects of other domains and check through my site for some other errors but I don't know whether a resubmit would appear a bad move?

Any ideas?


 8:08 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

By the way GoogleBot is still visiting my site every day :(


 2:47 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

It may have something to do with your e-commerce solution and googlebot. Take a long hard look at that. Just because gbot is requesting pages doesn't mean there is not a problem. Take a look at your pages with a Lynx browser or a gbot simm (especially how the e-commerce new code affects it)the problem may become very obvious.
look at the google cache of your pages - is the new version with the e-commerce thing - cached or is the old page still there. That is a sure sign that gbot is choking on it. It will continue requesting the page because it sees the new date on the file but it may be choking on it. See if the cache is updated or not.


 3:40 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks again for a reply,

I've checked the cache and the new site is included. I even had cache of my products pages last week and other parts of my site like services pages. My heads a mess.. I've just updated all frame redirects to 301 redirects on our domains so hopefully that will help somewhat. I've removed things like ® from meta tag which I thought could have been a problem. I've started the slow link building process again!

It's maddening though that I was hitting 1-16 positions on google and since everything but my homepage has been removed traffic has dropped considerably... No profit, no job so having to have to go cursed adwords route for a while I think....

This is my first big website so I have the anger of WHY at the moment... bet all you are used to it ;)


 5:24 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

same thing happened to my ecommerce site but i got an email from google saying i wasn't sandboxed...with no explanation on why I lost 99% of my pages with the big daddy update.


 8:00 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

maybe e-commerce puts you into a different leg of the algo and it just takes some time to rebound?


 8:01 am on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

It might be.

I've checked my site for any bugs and the only thing left that it ever could be is some CSS hidden text for use when CSS is turned off to replace my banner.

I've also emailed google and I'm past the automated response and waiting for the semi-automated response now :)

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