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Sandboxed due to site's IP?
Does your IP play a role in the sandbox?

 6:28 am on Aug 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just want to see if anyone has experienced similar things or has some insight.

I recently launched a new website in what appears to be a very competitive keyword (actually the site has been live with a "Coming Soon" landing page for 4 months, the real site went live 2 months ago). I have not done anything out of the ordinary with my code/seo because this is a new business not some MFA website, also I have a Google sitemap setup. The site is now listed in the Yahoo Directory and has been linked (legit) from several popular websites and blogs covering our products.

Every site that is linking to me ranks for my domain name in the SERPs, but I appear to be "sandboxed". Here are some factors that I am trying to consider as contributing sand:

1. The domain is 9 months old - Based on other theories this is a factor, but I didn't think it was so big. Ideas?

2. The IP address of the site is now dedicated due to needing SSL. In the past this IP used to virtual host approx. 25 websites, some were forums with 100,000+ pages. I am still seeing Googlebot and others trying this IP looking for the old content, and of course not finding it. Is it worth me moving my site to a new IP? Could this be adding my sand to my box? Everyone knows sand in your box can be really, really irritating.



 4:12 pm on Aug 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google worries about URLs, not IP addresses.

You don't say what makes you think you are in the 'sandbox'.

Nine months is a fair time, but there have (recently) been reports of over a year - especially if there have been major site changes during that time.

Monitor serps for your major keywords and phrases, and eventuaslly the fluctuations will slow down. Avoid major changes to the site in the meantime, though growing the site is fine.

If you are worried about other sites with the same host, then just be sure you have no link exchanges with them, and sdo go for links from quality directories.

Also watch (as ever) your outgoing links.

[edited by: Quadrille at 4:13 pm (utc) on Aug. 3, 2006]


 8:35 pm on Aug 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

The reason I think im in the sandbox is partly because, if I do a site:www.mydomain.com there are no results at all.


 8:57 pm on Aug 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you do a site command and get no results it would appear your not in the index. Sandboxing is more of a ranking frustration than indexing.


 10:39 pm on Aug 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Agreed. Do a few other searches, inclding "some unique phrases"; but if none find your site, sandboxing is the least of your worries.

Then check your links, especially if you exchanged any.


 1:00 am on Aug 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am still seeing Googlebot and others trying this IP looking for the old content, and of course not finding it.

Where are you seeing this? That is very strange - the bots don't normally hit IPs, they hit domain names.
Have the old domain names been correctly configured to point somewhere else?


 11:57 pm on Aug 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

All the old domains were pointed elsewhere, what seems to be happening is that the old IP is still cached in their DNS and old content is still being looked for at the old IP. The old domains are on a new machine and are being indexed they have not suffered in the SERPs from the move.

A few things that are also potentially important:

The site only had a few inbound links and during the last PR update last month got a PR1, so I know Google is seeing it.

Sitemaps shows all the relevant data under "Crawl Stats" and "Page Analysis", but no pages are indexed.

This domain was purchased after it expired, could it be blacklisted by Google and I just didn't know? Is there any way to find out if this is the case? That would suck.


 12:19 am on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

You kind of explained why you are not listed and ranking in Google all by yourself.

Your site was under construction for months then you think it should rank?

What sets you apart from keywords that you are after?

The SE's are truly studing sites now and really judging back links relating to topics.


 12:34 am on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Your site was under construction for months then you think it should rank?

I don't expect it to rank, I just expect to exist in the index. Even if I search for my own domain, or anything related to my site there is not as single page in the index. I don't expect to rank in the SERPs for a long long long time for my key words.

The thing that sucks, is when you tell people about your business and they go to Google you and nothing from your site appears.


 12:57 am on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

There's some new hardcore filters that Google has.

If you have a forum or any type of repeat visitors going on something unique Google is trying to make it their business too.

I think they are now trying to use repeat visitors and more to rank you.

It's getting pretty obvious and the results are getting worse.

Want to get on top of Google results? Than prove to them that you are news source or a big time MFA spammer.


 1:09 am on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

On MSN Search you can search sites on a particular IP.

Finds sites that are hosted by a specific IP address. The IP address must be a dotted quad address. Type the IP:keyword, followed by the IP address of the website. For example, type IP:, and then click Search.


As mentioned, Google tends to look at domains, not IP addresses. If an IP address has large numbers of spam domains it might become penalized, though my understanding is that this is very rare.

Have a look at what other domains share your IP. If you still think you may be suffering an undeserved penalty you should get yourself a Google Sitemaps account (you do not need a sitemap) and express your concern by using the reinclusion request form on the My Sites page.

While many a website administrator has wondered if their site does not rank well because of a penalty or ban, the fact is that most domains do not. There are usually other legitimate reasons for their rankings as calculated by the algorithms. -- Good luck.


 8:31 pm on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Since I wrote my last message Google Sitemaps has become Google Webmaster Central. Here is the official announcement on the Google Webmaster Central Blog


Rand Fishkin has written a detailed review of all the new features on his SEOmoz blog.


 2:20 am on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

This domain was purchased after it expired, could it be blacklisted by Google and I just didn't know? Is there any way to find out if this is the case? That would suck.

If you are worried, you could do a reinclusion request - supposedly they will review a site and if they are happy wipe the history.
Make sure it is squeaky clean before you do it! :)


 9:07 am on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Right on the nail -

Reinclusions are labor-intensive - Google will be slow to give you a second chance if you ask for reinclusion while the site still has problems.

Be sure to check every single outgoing link, as well as on-page stuff.

Good Luck :)


 2:24 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

This domain was purchased after it expired

Our experience has been that it is extremely challenging to get a domain; that was once used for an active site, but that expired and fell out of the index, back in after purchasing it. This has been the case with domains for sites that did not in fact have some sort of past penalty. Has anyone else experienced this?

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