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I also have a site that is close to four months old. For my main targeted keyword term, I am currently ranked 71st. Allinanchor, title, etc. show me at 6th. I have way more links than all but the #1 site. I am guessing I am in the "sandbox". I have around 700 inbound links (according to some search engines) which I received over the course of the past 3 months. Is it possible I need to wait for my links to "age"?
What is this talk about a sandbox release? Just wondering when I can see some better results :)
Within a month or so, the site acquired nice PR, but no positioning of any worth.
That is, until 6 weeks ago when the site got listed in the Yahoo directory. I recommended the client take that course of action, figuring Google HAD to pay attention to Yahoo as a measure of site worth.
Suddenly the site is showing some halfway decent positioning on Google for two pages, for only two keyword phrases. This is new. There are several other keyword phrases for which it is not ranking.
The client, who was ready to give up, now has reason to hope.
My guess is the Yahoo listing carried a lot of weight, and it appears as though it's a slow, incremental crawl from the sandbox.
In the pagerank update thread people are asking the same thing. I'm just confused as to how people know they're in the sandbox without knowing what it is.
In short, PR shown in toolbar does not mean you are out of the sandbox.
They are definitely in the sandbox, and the green we see now did not get them out. Hope springs eternal, but nothing has changed with the granting, (displaying) of PR for us. (I must admit I really thought it would have an impact)
We're all still trying to figure this stuff out. Another factor could well be the time served in the sandbox. My client's site was established in January, yours is three months old. Quite possibly the site had been in the sandbox long enough for a Yahoo listing to have had some as yet minimal impact. As someone named Martha might say, the longer you're in the box, the sooner you might see freedom. So to speak.
About a week before the (visible) PR update, our rankings across the board jumped up about 100 places or so (from the 29+ page in the serps to the teens), although little to no additonal IBL's were added (we have roughly 200 or so PR4+ pages lining to us).
This is from a massive drop in late march to the 30+ pages in all serps.
Another interesting note....we also have a couple PR8 pages linking to us (from product reviews/press releases/articles about us). These links have been in place for more than 5 months, and have yet to show a noticable effect, either on PR or ranking.
Background: Our (commercial) site was launched on Sept. 1st, 2003, quickly gained top 10 serps across all relevant keywords, and took a nose dive the last week of march. No penalty is evident (I should hope not, we are VERY conservative in any SEO), as PR has remained/climbed through the last two updates, and nearly all (400+) pages of the site get spidered with a fresh date daily. This includes pages 3-4 levels deep, as many deep links exist to individual products.
So....my take? I think no matter how the "sandbox" syndrome is triggerred, it takes an incremental aging of both the site and the IBL's to make it gradually crawl back up the serps. Hopefully (pending any major changes that usually happen in November) we'll be back at the top just around holiday shopping time ;-)
OF course....thanks to PPC, all the above would just be icing on the cake. We make all we need to from our PPC campaign(s).
I just launched a new site on October 2, 2004. See bottom of post for a fairly complete diary of activity so far.
What exactly is the google sandbox? I would suppose it to mean the time between when google spiders your site and when they start to include search results for your listing. Is this true? If so I wonder what you will think of my situation with my new site described below.
I have about 60 or so links in so far, all except 1 from my own sites. Only 1 really means anything but 2 are pr 5 sites. 1 is a nursery business directory that has 16,000 pages of listings. I set the link at the top of the index page as a single period. SE's have no prob finding this but regular visitors [people] will have to really look close. This site often gets 2k search engines visits or more per day. I always place links from this site's index page to every new site or customer's site that I want to get listed with the SE's. I never bother with SE submission. I never have needed to with this method.
Just wondering what you guys will think about this in relation to the sandbox thing. If anyone wants to have a look at the new site's logs let me know. I use ax and can email you a link so you can see this all for yourself if you want proof. I usually just put the links up and forget it when getting a new site online. I never really watched to see when the SE's would come and when I would get the very 1st visits from google or the other SE's. I would have placed a link here to the ax stats page but from what I can see that is not allowed here so just PM me or email to webmaster at avc.us
I sort of jumped the gun getting the link up for this new site. As you can see below the SE spiders were all over me before I was even ready. I did learn a cool lesson about using a very common key word miss-spelling to grab traffic though. How cool is that! You pro's are probably already up on that trick.
Site diary below - this got put together from the bottom up and I was too lazy to re-arrange it from the top down. Hope you all don't mind to much. Just start at the bottom and scroll up.
some misc engine visit left out etc.
oct 8th 80 crawls/visits by Ask Jeeves/Teoma
oct 7th 1 search engine hit from yahoo search results 1-20 from a key word phrase use on 1 certain page.
visitor looked at 3 pages.
oct 6th 101 crawls/visits by lj1236.inktomisearch.com
(compatible; Yahoo! Slurp; http:// help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/slurp).
oct 5th 1st search engine hit from google. returned from results 41-50 from a keyword miss-spelling I
accidentally had when the site was 1st launched on 1st 20 pages. Miss-spelling was in the h2 sub title
on the pages and has since been fixed. After the search hit under the miss-spelling I added the incorrectly spelled
key word to the meta key words in the hopes of getting more hits from this source.
I'm considering adding a complete set of sub pages with this common miss-spelling in all of them.
the sub pages would only be accessible from a site map with a inconspicuous link in the heading
on every page. Search engines would pick it up & see all pages but few visitors would.
oct 5th 4 crawls/visits by Googlebot/2.1
oct 5th 12 crawls/visits by msnbot/0.3 (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm).
oct 4th 2 crawls/visits by Mediapartners-Google/2.1.
oct 3rd 56 crawls/visits by Mediapartners-Google/2.1.
oct 3rd 52 crawls/visits by Googlebot/2.1
oct 2rd 2 crawls/visits by Ask Jeeves/Teoma
oct 2rd 2 crawls/visits by Googlebot/2.1
oct 2nd 58 crawls/visits by Mediapartners-Google/2.1.
oct 2nd site goes online. 100 pages with key words and page headings/subheadings and adsense ads in place all pages.
about 2 or 3 pages of content finished, all other pages empty except for key words site descriptions and
When you say escaped do you mean that the site as a whole is ranking well or that for instance, the homepage is ranking well for terms it has plenty of inbounds containing those words?
To clarify, we have larger sites that are finally doing well for the main terms but that PR isn't channeling through internally and helping as it used to on non-sandboxed sites.