I was wanting to know if there is anyway to find out if you are in googles sandbox, and want the sand box IS!. I have read a lot here about the sand box but not quit sure want this means. I am indexed in yahoo and MSN,AltaVista, but not google.. And if in the sand box how long could this take?
I can only answer a part of the question i.e what is a 'sandbox':
It is a protected and limited environment where applications (like Java programs downloaded from the Internet) are allowed to "play" without risking damage to the rest of the system. The R&D department at many software and computer companies is sometimes referred to as a 'sand box'.
(From Wikipedia encyclopedia): In computer software, sandbox is an informal name given to the limited execution environment in which untrusted programs are run. The boundaries of this notional box limit the scope of a malicious program to cause damage to the computer system as a whole.
Similarly, in software development the term is used to refer to a test system which replicates (often in reduced size or capacity) the actual computing environment for which software is being developed. The presence of such a safe, controlled environment allows developers to try experimental code without fear of damaging a mission-critical system.
The Google "sandbox" doesn't affect being indexed at all. The problem lies in that sites get indexed, but then only rank on weird or non competitive search phrases and are no where to be found on target or competitive search phrases.
I am asking this as a newcomer to web development :: is it correct to say that the competition for a keyword (on google) is a function of both the popularity of the keyword *and* page ranking of all pages with that key word?
Competition for any keyword depends on the top ranking sites for that keyword. You can work for on page factors easily but you should also check the number of backlinks for those top ranking sites to check competition for any keyword.