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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

9:14 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Your resulting drops could be from continued link building which will with each occurance, result in a further, drop till banned.

I've been watching a site (not mine) in the Google serps lately that was new as of last fall that has over 2,000 - 3,000 backlinks, most of them reciprocal, that is not in the sandbox. I think if sites were penalized for aggressive link building this one would get the prize. But it appears to be ranking well for all of it's key phrases.

1:29 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Do they need to be reciprocal to kick in the artificial linking filter theory? If not all aggressive competitors need to when they see a new site is link to it...-irony
2:26 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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SEO1, regarding your link-related "dampening factor" theory: as of yesterday, it appears that for our 60,000 pages, this "dampening factor" has suddenly gone from a very large number to zero.

SERPs that were in the hundreds to over 1,000, are now #1 to #30 or so.

Sorry, but the "two indexes" theory sounds more plausible to me at this point.

2:30 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Jane

Could be that the traffic levels to the site indicated a greater ability to draw links naturally.

nzmatt

reciprocal links if added slowly can be of some benefit for traffic which perhaps outweighs Google low value count for reviprocal links

Swapping links, buying links, selling links, and page for page cross linking, would be frowned upon as trying to manipulate their search results listings, doing such tactics to excess would certainly hurt a website's chances for Google front page results.

As far as adding a competetiors site to this mix, since the competitor would not offer a link in return for the links you proccured, then all you will have done is built them one way back links to their site, this is why Google says a competitor cannot hurt you by adding links to your site..they simply left out the part that is a competitor did build links to your site it would do your site good.

Hope this helps

Clint

2:57 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Roy

1. Self linking never hurt a site that I have seen.
Why wouldn't you vote for yourself in an election?

2. With 60,000 pages your site would most likely be viewed as an authority site if its broad category could be defined under one topic or theme.

3. You could have recently added a pltehoria of links which will give a temporary boost in results rankings however the keyword here in my eyes is "temporary"

When a site is crawled there is more than one crawler at work with Google one which crawls the links on your site as well as links to your site, and another bot called and "indexer" bot.

4. There are two indexes A forward index and a general index. Google stores in the forward index those authority sites that are most likely to rank well for a users search query, this saves them computing power and enables them to return results much quicker than if they had to pull from the full or general index of sites.

5. At what point in the results listings would this sandbox thingy you speak of kick in?

500th result and below?, 1000th?

Well let's think about this, if the genral keyword term results in average competitor page count of 1,000,000 pages, then placing in the top 1000 results with a single page has a probabliity factor of 0.001% chance of occurring, (less than getting hit by lightening, but higher than winning the lottery)

In my eyes if you have a less than 1% chance of success and achieve that success, you have done quite well and the sandbox you placed yourself in, is therefore, a figment of someone's overactive imagination.

I would say if you are in the bottom 500,000 pages of results and have optimized your site well then perhaps thers's a conspiracy....but even then I doubt it..

Clint

3:22 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Seo1

Don't you have a "real" job to do? :-)))

You'll be here for ever and a day if you're not careful!

3:34 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Rex

Oh yeah lol ....

Now I know why my days are so long

Clint

4:13 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've seen sites with very aggressive linking strategies sandboxed for months that are now top 5. What happened to the dampening factor here?
4:29 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Could be that the traffic levels to the site indicated a greater ability to draw links naturally.

His link exchanges were mostly with reciprocal links pages and he does in fact have spiderable links back to those pages. I checked a sample.

Most likely link acquisition rate is a variable Google takes into account. However, without knowing the actual code in the Google algo, and with anecdotal evidence to the contrary, I'm a bit unclear as to how you feel comfortable making so many definitive statements about what is and is not in the algo such as:

Your resulting drops could be from continued link building which will with each occurance, result in a further, drop till banned.

There are undoubtable many complex variables in the algo and rate of link acquisition may be one of only many factors taken into account, and may be a more important factor in some areas and not others. Clearly the owner of site I've been checking did have an aggressive reciprocal link building campaign and not get banned or even sandboxed.

10:07 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This theory is not new and rests amongst others with equal anecdotal evidence, both in support of, and contra to the theory posed.

SEO1:

Also it should be noted Googles measures the traffic to your site so it uses that as a measure as well of your linking habits.

For example a site with 10 visitors per month drawing 100 links looks bad, where a site with 10,000 visitors a month drawing 100 links is more plausable.

And...

I really don;t understand people...everyone claims Google is filtering websites with domains registered Since January 2004, yet with something so simple as server stats nobody thinks Googles capable of deciphering those

The danger for any author, when stating a theory as fact, comes about when it's challenged; the author that cannot let go because of ego, or whatever, becomes tempted to introduce other loose arbitrary statements as further supporting evidence, all good lawyers know this. The above statement RE: 'deciphering server stats' is, I believe, conferring upon Google, abilities which far surpass most of the other amazing theories I've had occassion to read thus far, ever.

1:44 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Whippenpost

As far as the personality analysis portion of your post.. it's rather limited in scope since you do not know me...the topic was Google Sandbox being a myth, not whether I have an ego (yes I do have one like most other homosapiens)

As for googlebot's capabilities, I studied data mining scripts in the early 90s using ASP400's to determine internal theft & fraud cases, via exception reporting in major retail outlets acorss the US, as well as having read, studied and /or used ALICE, and more conventional bots such egg drop bots, mirc, msn, yahoo bots, and a few others.

I feel I have a more than adequate understanding of data mining scripts and their capabilities in regards to server crawling, indexing, and the other capacities these bots have, to be able to post here, and in other areas with knowledgable input.

So if your looking to to do a psycho analysis on someone and their ego, do a google search for a forum where you can analyze those who think they need such analysis...

Peace

2:36 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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when stating a theory as fact, comes about when it's challenged
It's clear to me TheWhippinpost's point was your propensity to both present your assertions as fact and to post authoritatively. As a relative newcomer to this board...

Of course, that has nothing to do with Google's sandbox, Re: "Google Sandbox = Dampening Filter Applied".

3:52 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi Dave

You are right, I do seem at times to post authoritatively on a subject.

Yes I am a new comer to this board, however on the subject of data mining robots I have 15 years experience in their workings

"I studied data mining scripts in the early 90s using ASP400's" 2005 - 1990 15 years

As far as coming here and making my post I didn't just wake up one morning and think "let me go post some stuff for kicks"

Nor have I twisted anyones' virtaul arm to read it..

The thoughts are mine, as for authority implied most often when others look for advice they want someone who is self assured, confidant, and secure in their thoughts and beliefs.

Anytime someone introduces a concept that goes against conventional thinking, it is often met with resistance and narrow thinking due to lack of understanding and unwillingness to change to another's point of view.

I have included concepts of average math equations to make the process easier for others to grasp. Again more thoughts and fact.

Yet not a one can offer valid proof either through website registration date or positioning in the SERPs that a andbox existis.

If there are 1,000,000 pages found on a keyword search, there has to be a starting point and an ending point for the pages.

There has to be a page at position number 1,000,000 just as there does at position number 1 and every spot in between.

1,000,000 pages cannot fit in the top 3, 10, 100, or 1000 results pages for that matter.

It's a sad fact but there has to be a web page at position #501,954 and since there are 1,000,000 numbered pages on the topic then that is a fact which cannot be glossed over with a mythical explanation as to why the page is at position # 501,954 or any other position.

Again just my thoughts no need to feel pressured to adopt them.

Peace

7:52 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Anytime someone introduces a concept that goes against conventional thinking, it is often met with resistance and narrow thinking due to lack of understanding and unwillingness to change to another's point of view.
We agree about something! ;) My experience is that the resistance can almost invariably be mitigated substantially by how the new concept is presented.

And in case no one has yet mentioned it, welcome to WebmasterWorld! :)

Personally, I've experienced one site that conforms to randfish's very strict definition of the Google sandbox. I've seen others post experiences and describe their sites as "sandboxed" that clearly have no idea what the term "sandbox" originally described which simply muddies further discussion.

8:35 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Dave

Thanks for the welcome

Can I see randfishes definition?

Clint

8:46 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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[google.com...]

Do some digging. :)

I'm uncertain who originally coined the term and advanced the theory, I believe it was one of our members. But randfish has done considerable follow up, including a survey of webmasters, if memory serves.

<added> This may be a more useful search. [google.com]</added>

9:48 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So I've noticed that if I do a search for "link:mysite.com" I find X links. If I think do a search for "mysite.com" I find a lot of pages with links on them to mysite.com but that did not come back in the link: search.

So google has these backlinks indexed, and I can search for them by searching for the anchor text, and find them, but it has not included them in the link: search result.

10:16 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Martingale

What you are describing is link devaluation of a sort but it is not your fault.

The way others link to your site causes this problem.

If they link [yoursite.com...] it is different than if they link to your site [yoursite.com...] and if they link to it as www.yoursite.com. The bots count each set of links seperately since each form is a valid url.

If you are on unix I can give you an mod rewite code for getting all links to point to your site correctly if you are on windows you should be able to do the same thing with an Isapii rewrite

Dave

Thanks for the links

Clint

10:18 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Dave

I would do some digging but.... I wanted to try your personalized search feature.....hehehe

Clint

7:54 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Seo1:

I don't think that's it. (And I do have a 301 redirect from mysite.com -> www.mysite.com already). The links that I find searching for with the simple query "mysite.com" (no link: prefix) are properly formed links without a trailing . and with the www in place.

Moreover, msn search does return them all when I do the same search there ("link:www.mysite.com pulls them all up on msn).

So Google has indexed pages with backlinks to me, and I can search for my link on that page by searching for the anchor, but google is not counting them as backlinks.

I am hoping this is temporary and they show up as backlinks soon. I am at the top of my cat in msn search but nowhere near the top in google. I think this is why. (My site is only about 8 months old btw, I think I am in some kind of sandbox.)

12:41 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi

I haven't read every message in this post but wanted to ask about something.

When I search for my "sitename" in Google (not sitename.com) I've noticed that I have around 8000 or so returned items listed. This is way up from the last time I looked which was 2 or 3 months ago which was maybe 3000.

I've found a number of German sites that have a link to my site on every page of their site(s). These sites are named like so: site1.info site2.info and on up to site22.info.

Then I noticed that there is a whole bunch of other sites created in the same way: anothersite1.info -> anothersite22.info and again links on every page.

Upon looking some more I found a number of cooking sites, bicycle sites and you name it and my link is on there site. I didn't and wouldn't have put my link there. These websites are basically a bunch of links to other websites with no real info except for couple of lines of description.

Could these links cause problems for mysite from Google’s viewpoint?

I don’t have any links back to these sites and didn’t ask for any of these links to be placed on these sites. If this does cause a problem what would you do to “fix” it?

Thanks

2:16 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi Sam

Since the links are one way links they shouldn't hurt you but actually help you.

By any chance have you had your site optimized or undertaken any kind of links campaign?

Also has there been any ranking changes since when you had 3000 links and 8000?

Clint

6:15 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi Clint,

Thanks for replying. I'm not really certain if the site was optimized. I use/used text links and had a lot of these text links on most pages of my site. I didn't think that this would be a problem because all the links where on my site. I’ve had the site up for a number of years using this navigation method and I considered it best way to navigate. I found that users would stay at my site longer and look through more pages etc... Again reinforcing the linking method was working. After reading a number of posts I now think that this was a mistake on my part and that this is considered SPAM?

I have received quite a number of link requests from link exchange sites but didn't respond to any of them. I did link to almost any site that I felt had information relevant to my site. I kept things pretty focus and didn't really care about PR. I've searched through my out going links and haven't found any sites that I would consider bad or link farms. I did place my link in industry related directories (websites) which I assumed is ok.

I do have a lot of out going links throughout my site that are linked to manufactures product pages. I have read about “Deep Linking” and that many Manufactures don’t like people linking in this way, why? I don’t know or I do not understand what deep linking actually means. I think it’s the way things should be and should be considered “natural” and “organic”.

As far as the links going up with the additional incoming links and PR, I haven’t really noticed any change except back in either Sept or Dec of 2004 where I had a PR 6 for awhile. Having a PR6 didn’t increase my traffic or much of anything that I was aware of.

One thing that did happen was in Dec 2004 I started using different forum software and had a number of pages taken out in a single day. There also wasn’t any method to insert the old forum’s messages into the new forum.

Sam-not-so-wise

7:44 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi Sam

Again reinforcing the linking method was working. After reading a number of posts I now think that this was a mistake on my part and that this is considered SPAM?

No interlinking your pages is fine. In fact Google likes it alot.

I did place my link in industry related directories (websites) which I assumed is ok.

Good, and you should place your site in any directory you can.

I do not understand what deep linking actually means. I think it’s the way things should be and should be considered “natural” and “organic”.

Deep linking is a good thing, most shoppers want to go right to the product they are looking for and not have to click four times to get to it. Deep linking can be done externally into your pages, and also from your pages to any pages that cannot be reached from your home page.

Having a PR6 didn’t increase my traffic or much of anything that I was aware of.

Nope,,high PR wont get you more traffic or front page results. It is just one part of an 100+ part algorithim.

in Dec 2004 I started using different forum software and had a number of pages taken out in a single day

The forum software you are using may not be indexable, you should consider changing back to the origial or finding another that is crawlable.

The pages didn't get pulled out the links to them died so Google couldn't crawl the links any longer.

Clint

5:28 pm on Feb 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The Google sandbox is certainly not a myth but the reasons that are given for it are simply a bunch of crap. Fact is that they are pushing new sites into oblivion simply in order to make the owners of new sites use AdWords = Google earns money. And since they have gone public they want to earn A LOT OF money.

However, it is also a fact that this hurts the quality of the search results.

My own experience: 3 relatively new (a few weeks to a few months) websites of companies with unique names. All have a reasonable number of incoming quality links. Do a search on Google for exactly those company names and you find them somewhere between position 100 and 200. Same search on MSN and Yahoo results in No. 1 positions for all three, as one would expect. Now, if you are searching for information about a company named "Blue-ringed Wigs", wouldn't you expect to find it on the company's own website, let's call it "blueringedwigs.com", in first place?

The result is that a search on Google these days is as actual as a six months old newspaper.

Sorry, I'm frustrated but what Google is doing is real nonsense.

8:00 pm on Feb 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi Blue

Cant comment on the sites without seeing them but the Google Sandbox is an Adsense tool and has been since close to it's inception.

Not everysite can ranking in the top 10 o 20 or 30 so yes your site could show at 200 or 300

There are many reasons a site wont show up front page...expecting a site to show up on the front page is well beyond what one should expect.

Your html code may have errors, you may use graphic images for linking to your pages, you may use a javascript navigation that cannot be indexed by Google, you may be using php with session IDs, I could go on but the list is pretty extensive.

Again online businesses are businesses and trying to build a business based on Google results ould indicate to me that the person has no business accumen and probably shouldn't be in business in the first place.

Just my thughts

9:15 pm on Feb 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi Seo1,

I'm not exactly a newbie, so I have a bit of an idea of what has to be avoided. No graphic images, no Javascript navigation, no php with session IDs, no frames or any other of the big mistakes. In fact all my other sites are having good to excellent rankings, not only in Google. The newer ones don't, simply for the fact that they are new. So for Google the automatism is new site = bad site, obviously. I don't know what this has to do with quality search results.

My post has nothing to do with putting all eggs in one basket. Where did I say something about "trying to build a business based on Google results only"? However, you certainly won't deny that Google can be (!) an excellent source of traffic that no webmaster can afford to neglect.

Last but not least, yes, even I understand that not every site can rank in the top 10 o 20 or 30. However, if a site is about a company with a unique name, has built some link popularity, has lots of content and avoids all the major SEO mistakes, is there any explainable reason why it doesn't show up at the top when you do a search exactly for this unique company name? In my opinion there's only one. It's called sandbox and is one of the stupidiest moves any search engine has done in the last years.

4:16 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Discouraging other businesses from advertising may precipitate anti-trust actions."

As Johnny Mac would say - you can not be serious

"Clearly, "buying links" is here to stay."

Seriously this is clear.

6:59 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Recently a good number (around 10 or so) of high-PR (6's, 7's, 8's) sites have begun linking to me in a period of 3 weeks. Most of them are .edu sites, including Stanford. However, I have not seen any significant change in my rankings, only that Googleboot has been visiting more often than ever. My traffic did increase a bit, about 10%. I asked for a few of these links, but most of them they just did on their own. So, what I'm driving at is, will I be hit by this "dampening filter"? They are but a few sites, but packin' with PR. I'm curious about that.
7:25 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm a quiet guy too estaquieto. :)

My experience is you'll be richly rewarded by the links. Typically, it takes about 8 weeks to notice a substantial traffic increase and that increase is usually on a more broad array of search terms.

TBPR may not change for a very long time. Not to worry, it doesn't "pay the rent" like traffic does and it WILL change, eventually. :)

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