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Google Sandbox = Dampening Filter Applied

Google Sandbox Link Dampening Filter

     
2:54 am on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone,

Google Sandbox- I have read this topic so many times in the last two years it hurts.

The "Google Sandbox" as it is called is not Googles way of dumping on your site, keeping your site at bay till Googles happy with you.

Google Sandbox is actually a tool in the Google Adwords Adsense campaigns.

What I see many websites suffering from is "gross misinformation", spewed about by all of the so called "Google Experts"

People just refuse to use common sense when it comes to getting front page rankings on Goolge.com SERP's.
This is apparant by the sudden rise in popularity of text link ad sites as a way to help bolster rankings in the SERPs.

I also se it in many freelance job boards I visit with the webmasters submitting projects to build them 100's of reciprocal or backlinks with so many stipulations it makes me laugh.

I have some bad news for you.

Links WILL NOT get you front page results on Goolge..

What they will get you more often than not is what is known as a dampening filter(Read Google Sandbox" for Google Experts).

What the "Google Experts" forgot to tell you was that Googlebot is an indexing bot which keeps information on every website that it indexes in it's database.

In this "cache" are your pages, and the links from those pages. Google uses this information to determine if you are attempting to influence the search results ranking by participating in practices such as agressive
link building.

Google also has in the database, the amount of time it took the authority sites in each category, to build natural links over the last 7 to 10 years. (Natural Link Building)

So all those sites who go on a link building spree and exceed the averages it took an authority site to build links, will receive a dampening filter for trying to manipulate the SERPs . (Artifical Link Building).

Hopefully this will put the "Google Sandbox" myth to rest and allow people to open their eyes to the real problems of trying to get websites with great content listed in the front page rankings of the search engines.

Clint

1:15 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have to post here, too, because I have sort of seen what he is talking about. IE, I have made it to the top 1-10 in google (and every other search engine) without aggressive link building).

I am not completely perplexed by my success, but I certainly don't attribute it to links, tho I have a few, I mostly have clearly coded content that I update almost daily). I have fixed code, and applied 'simpleness' rules to my site, as well, which has seemed to make a huge difference.

I am not an information site, I sell a physical, wearable product, but I have seen, after an inital 4-5 mos repression, my site at the top of the heap.

I don't have a links page, I linked only to a few sites that are very relevant to my product. I don't that they hurt, but I don't know that they were the reason for the google move. Did they make a difference with the other SE's -- still testing!

Judy

1:23 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Can you imagine all those with the theoretical sandbox problems reading this are now considering slashing their site links to pieces?

One piece of advice, if you are considering this be very logical and careful how you do it since Google are probably reading this thread and may apply a reverse link-slashing algo now!

1:28 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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after alegra all speculations are just speculations
who knows what is next,Google was build under the democratic moto "more links more popular so go to #10",i guess another philosophy is now developing in the plex.(probably manual....(see Yahoo).This phiosophy is (maybe) "get rid of of pages we don't like because according to our algo thought they are top ,they don't bring money to us "(ie:sites wihout adsence ) so kill them.
so simple as that.Probably the end of the free internet>>>>>end of "Democracy"?
1:43 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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...Peachtree.com...They have streets, plazas, and buildings named for them in a large US city, and having been one of the first to market, along with quicken, once the internet took shape it is only natural that they as an authority site will stay put.

Georgia is the "peach state". That is why so many streets and plazas throughout Atlanta are named "Peachtree". Nothing to do with the software company. LOL.

1:45 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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HI again,

Gerd

The Google hates me tact doen't hold water...your site was built by you not Google. If you live by Google you die by Google.

I optimize websites for Google front page results as a aprt of my overall traffic driving efforts, but would I pin my success or my clients success on them?

NO!

My sucess has come without Googles help, determination is 80% of what is needed ro be sucessful

As for Google building another algorithim to off set those who chop their links...there is no need as this is what they want in the first place.

For those of you experiencing success on Google through whatever means of adding content mixed with natural high quality links that has gotten you there, keep on pushing the content and the links will come..Content will get you to the front page not links..

Why do you think authority sites do so well? I guarantee you it's due to sheer volume of pages on a themed topic, than the amount of reciprocal links to the website.

Also a bit of common sense comes into play...a 10 page website on blue widgets with 1000 links to it, is not nearly as valuable or "relevant" as a website with 100 blue widget pages and 10 links to it.

More thoughts of the randomly insane.

Clint

1:49 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm wouldn't be easy to send your competition to the sandbox if it was all about rate of link building?

I have a competetor who has linked to me from thousands of pages throughout his/her site. Would def suck if Google is penalizing for "unnatural" linking patterns which could be caused by sabotage.

3:29 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Cobb

Okay well Im a yankee so the first time I heard of Peachtree accounting they were located in a Peachtree bldg and on Peachtree Street..figured they were big shots...what do I know lol

On the serious side where do you rank for your main keyword terms on Google?

Where does your competitor with all the links to you rank?

Was this linking a mutually agreed to sort of thing?

Do you link to their site directly?

If so then Google could be seeing it as a reciprocal link ploy..if you think it's hurting you cut any direct or indirect links if you can find those to them then monitor the results.

What is your sites history with Google Page Rank pre 1000s of links and then since?

Have you noticed if your link count changes in Google month to month, I have noticed mine has so older links would seem to die off.

Let me know the answers.

Clint

7:13 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We have no control over scrapers who add our link to their "directory" and the actions of other webmasters. Google should not penalize for lots of links. My site is added to someone's page/directory everyday. Plus, my site(s) are linked from numerous press releases written by my company and others. So, at what point would Google determine what is "natural". And I can't help it if someone adds my link to every page of their 10,000 page site. All I can do is ask them not to. But why? That's traffic.

C

[edited by: crobb305 at 7:33 pm (utc) on Feb. 16, 2005]

7:28 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The sandbox kicked in sometime between the end of Feb and the beginning of March last year.

Since then I have created a few sites all bar one of which have been sandboxed. I have not participated in anything other than seeking a few links from related sites and directories.

In my experience links have had no effect on my sites presence in the sandbox. I have had good success with all of the sites that I have actively promoted up to the introduction of the sandbox. I have quite a few number one positions using the same techniques that I used on the sandboxed sites.

7:51 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We have no control over scrapers who add our link to their "directory" and the actions of other webmasters. Google should not penalize for lots of links.

Google wouldn't have to penalize for massive number of links. It could simply ignore them.

Also, it's unlikely that Google's algorithm would use anything as simple as raw link counting. Link patterns and sources would probably be taken into account, too.

8:01 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We have no control over scrapers who add our link to their "directory" and the actions of other webmasters. Google should not penalize for lots of links.

We did this already - Google is apt to see if you link back!

Sug

8:18 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Crobb

What you are speaking of are "natural links" most one way links are natural links and won't be counted against you nor will people adding your site to their link directory it will help boost you and your traffic.

The links I speak of are usually reciprocal in nature and are swapped bought traded and sold between sites.

BeeBee

If one of the sites wasn't sandboxed then follow what you did differently with that site than the others.
Perhaps the SEO techiniques that once worked no longer do,, for myself I had to chill on the amount of kewyords I was using in alt image tags

Let us know

Clint

8:54 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Can you imagine all those with the theoretical sandbox problems reading this are now considering slashing their site links to pieces?

I couldnt disagree with this advice more. To my understanding this is not at all what SEO1 is suggesting. The point is that if you surpass a certain ratio (known only to google) of link growth rate per month(day? year?), that the links will hold little to no weight.

8:59 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Seo1 is right on money, i think.

Are we just rehashing the age of the link or something more deep?

9:08 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Lots of interesting speculation; not enough data to support particular viewpoints.

My impression is that Google is definitely using some sort of aging factor, or multiple age related factors in their algorithms. I haven't seen anything that would help me judge whether those aging factors only relate to inward links, or to other factors that also can be tied to the age of a site.

If their goal is to detect "spammy sites" it wouldn't be very efficient to just temporarily push all new sites to the bottom of the SERPs -- though there are plenty of posts that suggest this is the pattern we seem to be observing at least on the surface. Nearly everyone with new sites gives similar reports, when applying the various "sandbox" detection tests that have been described in other threads.

Whatever the actual technique Google is using, to me the most interesting question is how will Google keep the "spammy" sites at the bottom of the SERPs when they get old enough, while letting the "good" sites move up as they get older?

Merely waiting for the 5,000 inward links to get old enough obviously isn't a smart enough strategy for Google. Presumably, Google has some way of figuring out if those 5,000 inward links were "unnaturally" created, or the result of "natural" votes in response to publicity on a top rated TV show, or whatever.

9:11 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I couldnt disagree with this advice more.

I was playing a little Devil's Advocate there since, it the "theory" does hold water, then just maybe some who have being experiencing problems may think that a quick fix may be immediate pruning.

Hence my piece of advice:

One piece of advice, if you are considering this be very logical and careful how you do it since Google are probably reading this thread and may apply a reverse link-slashing algo now!

At the end of the day when considering serious site modifications consider all the possible ramifications.

Pruning may work, then again it may make one's situation worse if Google's algo sees it as trying to manipulate the SERPS again!

I hope that explains it a little better.

9:17 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Nearly everyone with new sites gives similar reports, when applying the various "sandbox" detection tests that have been described in other threads.

Yes, but how many new sites have been launched with absolutely no problem whatsoever and why were they not "sandboxed"?

That is the answer the "sandboxed" site builders want to know.

9:56 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Back again

Sandboxed hmmm I too have to agree there are factors such as age taken into account if not directly through things which Giga and others pointed out grandfathered into search engines, links which were built in directories, before search engines existed, and other issues.

Also again new sites I do not feel are pushed to the bottom they just do not have the traffic or content perhaps to put them in serious contention for top 3 page results.

They say in the offline world it takes 5 years to build a viable business from start up, now I know it's the net and instant millionaires were made fast and furious but that's the past....this is free advertising it has quirks online just as it does offline.

It takes time to build a business online or off..try and give it some time....because at the depth of hysteria about Google it's almost like a replay of the 1929 stock market crash about to happen.

Take a break,, put away the calculaters, the mathematical calculations because you wont figure it out...I doubt anyone at Google knows more than 10% of the algorithim..perhaps upper level people know 20%

How could they trust anyone with the whole thing knowing one good posting on the net ends all their fun?

Evwryone who pushes the issues only raises Googles coffers as advertsers scurry to market and raise bid costs higher.

Clint

10:11 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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How could they trust anyone with the whole thing knowing one good posting on the net ends all their fun?

LOL, and I would guess there is quite an element of truth in this.

I also agree with your analogy of building a business from scratch therefore unless one has a new killer app, product or unlimited financial funds, many may have to learn to live with a steadier growth rate.

It's still good fun trying to work it all out though:-) Maybe I'm slightly perverse being from a mathematical background!

10:23 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Seo1,

Assuming you are correct, which you most probably are at least in the general sense... wouldn't you agree that this can also be a bad thing for search users.

If company X is new but has the ability to be better by providing lower prices than those other older companies, then wouldn't that be of greater use to users?

I wonder if the RATE OF LINK GROWTH is an issue.. "ohh look this company is hot now, they should be of interest" for example.

10:27 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have a competetor who has linked to me from thousands of pages throughout his/her site.

Hummm - If I were to bother buying a load of links of a crappy network and pointed them to my competitors, think they's sink enough for me to get above them?

10:40 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This would be fine except there is one other BIG reason to build links - aggressively, naturally or not. To get traffic. Am I to believe that G "penalizes" sites in any way for obtaining links, text ads, directory listings, etc. How the heck else is anyone supposed to get any traffic. We're not all doing it to game Google. Google needs to get over themselves if this indeed is what they think - which I don't think they do - entirely anyway.
10:51 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"What you are speaking of are 'natural links' most one way links are natural links..."

Um, noooooo. Most one way links, I'd guess to a degree of over 1000-to-1, are completely unnatural garbage.

Natural links are links that occur naturally. That's it. They come in all shapes and styles, from run of the site to link pages to links spread throughout text.

These days, unless you have huge algo positives in other ways, a large number of one way links should normally get a site a demerit since the vast majority of the time they links will just be pure crap.

11:37 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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steveb

Natural links are links that are built through different methods, most often a triangular linking forms, these forum posts are natural links for the most part.

One way links are usually not crap, they can be attained by writing a press release and distributing it online, writing an article and giving it away in exchange for a link to your site, building an app and giving it away in exchange for a link to your website, pulling an RSS feed, and more.

Clint

11:49 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My paranoia?

I see all time a personal site with google Adwords/Adsense ads in top 10 results, for a competitive keyword, with 45 links overall. All his links are DMOZ mirror sites (like Google directory etc.), which means he has only 1 link.

A personal site, 8 pages, only DMOZ link, domain like:
http: //blabla50.bla.bla.com/personalname/main.htm in top 10 results for a competitive keyword (one word 35,000,000 results).

Tell me now, how?

11:59 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I dont doubt that a links / age ratio is in the Algo in some format but its utter hogwash to assume that a so called "Authority Site" took X long to get X links so thats a good formula in judging the speed new sites should secure links at.

Think about it. We have far far more sites on the internet now than 7 years ago. A new site is obviously going to secure links at a faster rate now than an old one would have.

Back then less sites on subject would have been around. Now you can make contact with billions of sites!.

Sorry but i just think that links should now be a much smaller part of the overall algo and a bias towards content for once should come into play.

Google SERPS are currently way way out of line with search terms requested - they need to address this and holding back quality content sites because they may have had more sucess at building links quicker than old sites did is not the answer.

12:45 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Natural links are links that are built through different methods, most often a triangular linking forms, these forum posts are natural links for the most part."

? Please don't vulgarize a term like "natural" that way. Triangular linking is one of the least natural things that can be done. But the bottom line is that it is just a tactic. Natural linking basically ignores tactics. You just link usefully in the context of the content of the page.

"One way links are usually not crap, they can be attained by writing a press release and distributing it online, writing an article and giving it away in exchange for a link to your site, building an app and giving it away in exchange for a link to your website, pulling an RSS feed, and more."

You just described a miniscule amount of one way links that isn't even worth mentioning. The vast majority of one way links are from blog spam.

Some one way links are fine, just like some recips and some run of the site ones. At the same time, most links of every type are garbage due to the sheer volume of desperate garbage peddlers trying to make a buck.

The mode of link is unimportant. The genuineness of the link is what matters... (and then if you are a junk peddler, the effective pretending of genuiness is what matters).

1:37 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'd have to agree with steveb on that one... a natural link is one with no premeditation about what it's going to for ones SERPS or PR but is received or given strictly for the benefit of a website's visitors and so can come in any form.

You've made some pretty bold statements and I will agree that Google mathematicians together with the huge amount of data they collect allows them to see patterns that we can't contemplate, however your theory doesn't hold up in too many cases. One such case is enough to disprove a theory, much less many.

I have a case I'd like to see if you can explain. The site is one I threw up after a summer I spent consulting for the government of a Caribbean nation. During my stay, I collected a series of sayings used around the island and put them on a site whose domain consists of two totally non-competitive, yet descriptive keywords. I used the same two word in the meta title and once in the body, that's the extent of the SEO. The site consists of a page of sayings with photographs and another printer friendly page of the same without photographs. The site has about 30 or 40 inbounds, all from folks interested in the content, none of which I solicited in any way. The site has only one outbound to a site that discusses some related aspects of the culture. No keywords stuffing, no dupe content, no affiliate programs, no risky link strategies, nothing.

The site had been number 1 in Google and Yahoo and MNS (old) for about two years. It is currently #1 in the new MSN too. Just recently the site disappeared from Google. When I look for it, the sites that link to it come up, but the website itself cannot be found anywhere.

I define sandbox as a radical drop in a site's SERPs that is caused by a shortcoming of Google's, a penalty is a radical drop in a site’s SERPS that is the result of a shortcoming by the webmaster.

SEO1 this site got the sandbox.

2:13 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It is ridiculous for Google to penalize sites for attempting to promote themselves.

Even if you're not doing it for inbound links, when you launch a new site you pay for advertising, and inbound links on many an occasion simply to gain more traffic.

So Google is stating that if you are REALLY good at this, or you become a very important resource for a certain subject very quickly and people link to you quickly, that you are automatically penalized just as linkbuilding spammers are.

Everyone has every right to criticize this as it does not resolve the problem of spamming. All it does is retard the promotion of new sites, EVEN if they are good sites.

2:16 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"It is ridiculous for Google to penalize sites for attempting to promote themselves."

They aren't.

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