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I've launched many sites over the past few years, and up until about March-April 04 found it relatively easy to get a site on the first page for relatively competitive keywords. Since then, nothing.... Granted some site can be placed high, but only for very unusual searches. BTW.. from what I've seen the sandbox is very much real!
My question then - has anyone managed to acheive high placements on google for a site less than 1 year old? by this I mean a site with a domain name registered within the last year. If so, what did and didn't you do to achive this?
After reading this post, I spent the last few days checking the key words I follow, as well as just any random key words I could think of, and I could not find a single site that wasn't years old. Not one.
I than started to compare Yahoo and Google for the same key words. Google appeared to be a two year old cache of Yahoo. The listings are very similar with sites appearing in much the same order on both sites. The difference is Yahoo has younger sites, less than 12 months old, inserted at various spots in the SERPS. These same sites are cached by Google, and yet they do not appear in the SERPs for Google.
It was then that I noticed that the biggest differences in the listings between Yahoo and Google were for key words that have very competative paying advertisers on Google. Many older sites still listed at Yahoo no longer appear in Google SERPS. For the test key words I was using, one phrase in particular that produced no paid listings in Google, the SERPS were identical for the first 100 pages I checked . The key words with the heavist paid competition produced the biggest differences between Yahoo and Google with many sites missing from Google. They were still in the cache, you just can't get them to appear in SERPS excpet by searching for the domain name. No key word combination will bring them up any more.
I also couldn't find any of the fake search engines listed in Google that serve up only paying Google adds for a keyword search in Yahoo or MSN which I found interesting.
One would have to conclude that there has been no new sites added to Google SERPS for over a year at least.
One would also have to conclude that the only way to get a new site into Google and appear at or near the top of any given SERPS is to pay to advertise and that new sites will no longer get a 'free' listing in the SERPS.
The beauty of paying of course is you appear on page 1 of any SERPS for any given key word combination regardless of relevence. The price you are willing to pay is what governs your position, nothing else. Pay the most, you get the number 1 spot.
Bottom line is, the current Google algorithm is designed to keep new sites out of Google SERPS while still indexing them and giving the appearence that they are not being intentionaly excluded. This way they can boost their advertising revenue but avoid any anti-trust actions being bought against them.
It also means that there is no such thing as the 'Sandbox'. What it should be called is 'This site should be paying to appear in the SERPS'.
However, just getting only new sites to pay doesn't bring in enough revenue, so the algorithm is now crawling it's cache and adding existing sites with 'free listings' in SERPS, to the 'You now will pay us' list. I belive their current algorithm is designed to identify sites that produce revenue for the owner and force the owner to now pay to be included in the SERPS.
Sites that pretend to be search engines but only serve up paid advertisments for google are elevated in the SERPS. If your site includes affiliate advertising for any other company, even if it also contains Google advertising, there is a chance you will be dropped out of the SERPS and into the 'you can now pay' list.
If your site doesn't appear to be a revenue site, and would be unlikely to pay to appear in SERPS (i.e BLOG sites), you will stay in the SERPS. This is of course why it appears that Google favours BLOG sites. It's not that Google favours BLOG sites as many people have suggested, it's just that BLOG's are one of the few types of sites that can get past the exclusion algorithm now.
Because no algorithm is perfect, some non revenue sites will be hit, while other revenue sites will get missed.
Of course, you can easily prove me wrong by posting a few key words that produce SERPS that include both paying adds and sites appearing on page 1 that are less than 12 months old. Bet you can't though.
You can on Yahoo and MSN, you won't be able to with Google.
If you have a new site, or have already been dropped, you had better get your cheque book out, it's the only way you are going to get into Google's SERPS now.
If your site earns you revenue, you will be handing over a large slice to Google or you are out. If your site doesn't earn enough to pay Google, you're out. If your site is getting trafic from google, but earning revenue for any other affiliates, you're out. If your site earns no revenue, and is unlikely to ever earn anything, but is full of useless ramblings and trivial rubbish but will not draw attention away from the paying advertises, you can stay. If your site appears to be a Search Engine, but only returns google paying advertisments for any search term entered, you can stay (provided Google is the ONLY advitiser on your site).
Please prove me wrong. GoogleGuy, anyone. I don't want to be right about this. You don't want me to be right about this. Want you new site listed in Google, then pay. You want out of the 'Sandbox', then pay. Don't want your site to get 'Sandboxed' then pay. Want to use frames, ASP, Flash, CSS to make you site look good to your visitors, then pay. There is no alternative.
Strange to relate that I have Google blocked from one of my sites as it was made only for Yahoo!, and I did not want to pick up duplicate penalties on Google.
Anyway, to cut a long story, the site that should be on Google has picked up a (dup?) penalty and the site that is blocked apears at number two in the SERPS.
I know it is blocked correctly from Google as only the URL appears, so I asume it is there by virtue of the back links its has...go figure.
Anyway, the site is only six months old, so "Yes" is the answer to your question.
"Anyway, the site is only six months old, so "Yes" is the answer to your question."
As you can't post site links or key words on this site, would you message me your site and the key words used.
I really want to be able to retract my previous post. Otherwise, I and many others here are just waisting our time trying to optimise our sites for Google.
You, or anyone that has registered a new domain name (not just reregistered an expired domain name), created a new site for the domain name and currently has the site appearing in Google SERPS for the targeted keywords, please message me with the details.
When I see it with my own eyes, then I will believe it and I will post a retraction here.
But I think you may be very very right.
Think about it:
G has identified "money terms"
G shakes these SERPS every 3 months,
Site owners make good money for 3 months
For the other 9 months, they are out of the SERPS
During these 9 months, if site owner wants to earn referrals from G, then Adwords is the only way
Site owner invests some of the money earned during his good 3 months.
For G it doesn't matter who is at the top, because 3 times as many people are compelled to buy adwords (which increases bid price)
And now where the real money is made:
There is only one CONSTANT during all this - the major AdWords advertisers. They always advertise. And now that G has managed to up the bid price, they pay a bit more to stay on top.
Everybody here wants to be at the top. Sometimes we are, sometimes not. But at any one point, some of us are. And, from a users point of view, there isn't a lot of difference between the commercial offerings of siteA and siteB. But users tend to spend money at a site they know. So, over a period of time, they all convert to the sites they CONSTANTLY see.
In the last couple of years, where has G been spending their money? Diversification. But more accurately, diversifying their Adwords delivery network.
Bigger network + higher bid values = kerching!
And we all think that they are lost?
This sounds familiar to me. Up until around March this year new sites were being indexed and included usually within 4 weeks. Since then I've launched a couple of new sites and they're not showing for any keywords. They're being crawled and pretty much all of the pages are included in the index, they just seem to have a filter (the sandbox) keeping them out.
I'm don't want to bad-mouth Google over this as they've given me some great (and some scary) months over the past few years. Although I will say it does seem a little backward, what use is a site put up to advertise an event or provoke discussion on current events if you can only find it 8 months after it was launched?
Owners of sandboxed or vanished (see [webmasterworld.com...] ) sites have to answer one simple question: how many bucks do you want to spend for your website?
Don't expect to get anything for free from a company, not even better listing ranks in a SE. If some guys think you make money with their services, they want you to share income.
Money is the main factor.
The first took a dip after Bourbon and is now back.
The second flew for 5 weeks and is now pushed back 10-20 pages.
The third, is a week old and holds first positions for quite a few keywords already. However, this site is on a subdomain from a domain that was registered in 1997 but never has been used. The site is set up as keyword.domain.com and www.domain.com is 403'd.
It will be quite interesting to see how long it will stay .
I think about this the following: (warning, very simple; bad english)
Just make the best site in your niche! Dont even look to Google.. when you are sitting on a chair under a tree thinking about a new site; you have to make the best one.
If there is somebody else better you are #2
You have to keep the rules of making websites high. I (still) allways build in HTML 4.01 (generated by PHP but that isnt important..)
Never use images with text :) if ya need a button or thing with text try to build it with HTML/CSS
Try to find the maximums of chars for <title>bla</title> and the public META tags..
Try to find the maximums of chars for title="" and alt="" (for images i use both!)
Besure you have RSS feeds, and Google Sitemap is also a cool thing;
layout doesnt make sense.. domain doesnt make sense.. if you have the best Content, and your website is also readable by computer/human your on the good way..
SEO is dead, PEO is in
I launched in February of this year, now rank Page #1 for a number of keywords. Granted, the first keyword is a name but for many interesting combinations of words that I would think there were good sites out there I still rank on Page 1.
Happy happy, joy joy.
If the phrase is uncompetitive and still number one then on that occasion there is no sandbox. On the more competitive phrase who knows how much is sandbox and how much is just different algos from 2 years ago.
" I think the problem is when does a term become 'relatively competitive'"
It's easy to measure the competitivness of key words by the amount off adds that appear when they are used.
Key words that only produce 1 or 2 adds are not competitive. A full page of adds are obviously more competitive and keywords where several pages of adds from different advertises are displayed I would call highly competitive.
My experiments with keywords have demonstrated that the more advertisments that appear, the less likely that a free listing in SERPS to suit the keywords will be listed. If you clicking through the SERPS results, the free listings that best suite the key words always seem to start after the paid adverts have been displayed at least once.
Keywords that produce no adds will have relevent pages listed on page one of SERPS. Keywords that produce heaps of paid advertismenst don't start to list relevent sites till after the advertisments have been displayed.
Sure, you'll get one or two adds, but after the paid adds stop, you'll find relevent sites very concentrated after the point where the adds start to repeat themselves.
Try a search for 'banana smoothies' and notice how many relevent sites are listed on page one and the lack of advertising. Now compare the quality of the SERPS against the qualtiy produced for your keywords.
No adds equals no junk in the SERPS. Heaps of paying adds equals heaps of junk returned in the SERPS. Try it yourself.
Let's face it, they are giving prefrence to paying advertisers by retuning junk for heavily advertised keywords so people serching for the keywords will click on a paid add because little to nothing of value is being returned in the SERPS.
As no one is willing to pay twenty cents per click to spread the word about their banana smoothie recipe, you get good results in the SERPS.
Yahoo shows 17,000 backlinks, all of which are 'natural' one way links. TBPR shows only PR4 currently but I'd be suprised if it weren't 6-7 in the next update.
How did I do it? Not much SEO at all (just the basics), but I have spent a lot of time developing what is turning out to be a very popular and useful web 2.0 app.
The moral? Content may still be King, but a killer web app is Aces.
" I found a site, currently listed as #2 in Google for at least one term (also #2 on alexa at the moment), that is less than 2 months old (registered; seemingly has had traffic only 3 weeks)."
Would you mind messaging me the details as it's not your site?
I'm still waiting to restract what I posted previously and thus far, no one that has posted any details of these sites getting listed in just a few weeks has provided me any details.
Just one site is all I (and a LOT of other people here) want to see. One site so we know we are not waisting our time with Google. Just one site tells us that Google is not just for companies with big fat cheque books.
However, my statistics shows that *in my case* Google is still better than, Yahoo and MSN even after I normalize on their popularity. I mean that *overall SERP* is better.
Background: I am software developer and sell my programs from my site. Therefore for me the result is the mumber of downloads and not the number of vistors. My site in its present form is about 1 year old, though the part of it existed on another domain and IP since year 2000. I measure downloads only from new, one year part. Some my keywords are very competitive and for the most competitive combination (general topic of my site)I am not visible. For my narrow topic, less competitive combination I am the first. Since I am not a professional webmaster you may consider my site as the site with the basic SEO only. No black hat of course. No Google ads, adwords etc.
The number of downloads is (100% = Google +Yahoo + MSN)
According to Nielsen NetRatings (2005)the relative popularity of this three engines is (100% = Google +Yahoo + MSN)
Downloads/(Search engine popularity)
Therefore *in my case* Google still ranks me in average 1.7 times better than Yahoo and two times better than MSN.
The site mentioned by I coockie monster is a Link Farm.
As for 'Alexa's movers and shakers' you too can be listed there quite easily. Put a large 10GB file on your site. Have 10 of your friends (With different IP addresses) install the Alexa Toolbar and then download the 10GB file from your site. This will cause a dramatic rise in traffic from one month to the next and get you listed. I'm surprised you didn't know that one already.
Anyway, we aren't talking about Traffic rankings, we are talking about appearing in Google SERP's for keywords which they do not.
I found over a dozen Link Farm sites from the same company (not a person as they state on some of their sites). They are also heavy purchases of Advertising with Google (10 different PPC adds). They have even had their money withheld by at least one Credit Card processor for running scam sites. And they have been very busy. They are spending a lot of time creating BLOGs at as many BLOG sites as they can linking back to their sites with the titles and usually some fake story about some poor stuggling student trying to earn some pocket money.
Even so, apart from the paid advertising, it can only be called up by searching for its name explicitly. Try doing a search for Link Farms and see how well it ranks.
And besides all that, look at the links, Ringtone sites, Casino sites, Get Rich quick sites, I mean, it's like a collection of the Internets biggest scam sites hosted on another scam site.
Promar was also kind enough to send me a site. Again, this site will only come up if you search for the site name explicitly. They advertise them selves as Editors and Writing consultants in Australia, yet if you search for writing consultants in Australia, they are no where to be seen, even if you search for the keywords in their Meta Tags.
Also, the site is owned by a Website building company that has been around for many years and the site is an offshoot of the services offered by that company.
And they do pay for advertising as well. However, I doubt I would be employing them for any SEO, they haven't been to successful so far.
And Vaidim, as you say, your site is a year old, "and for the most competitive combination (general topic of my site)I am not visible". This discussion isn't about how many downloads are coming from your site. We are trying to find a site that is less then 12 months old and does show in Google SERPS for a keyword search. Again, your site, as you have said, just proves the point even more, sites less then 12 months old are not being included in the SERPS and it seems as with you even after 12 months, still not appearing.
And I don't mean by searching for the name of the site. If your sites names is unique (as it should be), of course it is should come up on top if you search for the name. I would expect a search for 'Jo Blo's Washing Machine Repairs' to list them at the top.
However, if they are less then 12 months old, they will not appear for 'washing machine repairs'. Google will list sites like a 5 year old site about washing golf balls, rather than Jo Blo's 6 month old washing machine repairs site.
And yet, if Jo Blo were to open his cheque book, he can appear on page one for washing machine repairs from day one.
If you use a combination of keywords that are only on your site, and found no where else on the net, Google has no option but to list you. They will also put a note saying to modify your search as if they are trying to get you to settle for less so they can show you their advertisers adds from less suitable sites.
If you use a combination of keywords based around washing machine repairers Google will give you and old site about golf ball washing rather than a new site about washing machine repairers.
So much for 'Relevance'. As the proliferation of scam sites, and this example shows, relevance means squat to Google.
Heck, I even found a site listed at #1 that had pages and pages of gibbrish, just random characters grouped togeather in 3, 4 a 5 character groups, complete with full stops, commers etc., to give the appearence of a sentences and paragraphs and the only actually words on the page, repeated over and over again in every second one of these fake sentences were the three targeted key words that they ranked number one for. The top of the page was of course are large flash based porn site with all the gibbrish starting a few inches belows the flash part and going on for pages.
Relevance means nothing and the Google algorythim can very easily be fooled. In fact, from what I have found, relevance can actually work against you. Mind you, any programme that thinks he can write a program that can make a computer 'understand' anything is dreaming. After all, Dresher as never ever managed to 'enlighten' his toaster.
So far my statement still stands. For the last 12 months, only paying advertises will have there sites included in SERP's, none paying sites less than 12 months old will be filtered out.
Please someone, prove me wrong.
One nice fresh clean site and domain name, less then 12 months old, that will appear in Google SERPS for a key word search other than the sites name is all I want to see.
Mayby Google should start advertising themselves like those 'Golden Oldie' radio stations.
'Google, your Golden Oldies Search Engine. No new sites here, just the really old sites you've come to know an love. Youth not welcome here at Google. New sites are evil, old sites are good. Trust us, we know what's good for you. We love that Old Peoples smell here at Google. The stench of Youth has been filtered out for your convenience.'
I don't want to share my site name, so I can't 'prove' it to you: you can take this however you want.
As an aside, Meta keywords haven't done anything for ranking in years. Searching for them won't do you any good.
Conclusion: Google's algorithm has failed to do what it originally set out to do, and they reverted to drastic measures by placing a major block in the algo. Also the increased new ventures started by google make it look like they know there search engine is failing and will soon be lost, and looking to other ventures to secure there future (and the Stock market value) for as long as possible.
I think a couple of guys from some uni should start a search engine with relavance in mind and have someone like Mozilla help promote it. Sooner or later google as a search engine will be history and a new one will take its place. I dont think it's going to be long!
I for one will not develop a new website with google in mind, I've wasted enough time and money on that.
bye bye google...
I also question some of your other info about the site, but not important really for the point of this thread.
The "keyword phrase" that he ranks well for is not a good one, is basically his domain name words, but there are really no other words in his title tag or site of any importance. He seemingly hasn't tried for any SEO whatsoever, or to be found for any other phrase, probably not even that one in reality. But if his domain name had been better keywords, seems he might have ranked well for those.
I am not recommending the site, or any like it. I just mentioned it as an example that is possible to get high in SERPs for at least one keyword phrase in short time, although certainly very hard. Maybe the site was even manually allowed in Google SERPs due to its current popularity.
"start a search engine with relavance in mind and have someone like Mozilla help promote it."
Now that is an excellent idea. Open source has shown time and again it produces superior code.
A search engine with an Open source algorithm, constantly refined the same way Firefox is with no way to buy your way to the top. Perfect.
I suspect it would do to Google (and Yahoo and MSN for that matter), what Firefox is doing to IE.
Now where did I put the AVL Tree text book.
But it may be not only the matter of competitiveness, but maybe even PageRank. In first language, sites in top 10 are PR3 and PR2. In second language, top 10 are PR6 and PR5. My site was PR2 (both language versions) after first quarter, now toolbar shows PR3 but I'm pretty sure after update it will be PR4. So I expect to game big sites in more competitive language after another half a year. Then the site will be over one year old.
In less competitive phrases it's easy to get to #1. I have a section of a site which is #1 after 2 months of existence, with only 2 backlinks: one from frequently spidered page of my own, another from edu site. The phrase it ranks returns one adword so is not very competitive.