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Matt Cutts on the Google Sandbox

Secrets of the sandbox revealed at Pubcon?

     

rogerd

10:45 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The existence of a new-site "sandbox" (which delays the site being ranked well for months) has been a topic of debate among SEOs.

In reply to a question from Brett Tabke, Matt said that there wasn't a sandbox, but the algorithm might affect some sites, under some circumstances, in a way that a webmaster would perceive as being sandboxed.

So, for some sites, in effect there IS a sandbox.

energylevel

2:51 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Not so sure ... I've seen new sites paying for Adwords for a long time and NOT escaping the sandbox

Sparkys_Dad

3:04 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Perhaps it is as simple as: don't submit the site to Google--instead open an AdWords account.

mixer28

3:53 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



DAVE - just to clarify -

Is your point that if you build up site populairty through traffic from places other than Google - Google itself is likely to treat the site more favourably?

Or maybe we should try blocking out Yahoo and MSN crawlers in robots.txt? Give Google exclusive access to our top notch content and not their competition - Matt Cutts might like that idea :-)

DaveN

3:57 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Blocking out Yahoo ... Lol No i'm blocking yahoo becasue i have other sites ranking for the keywords.. didn't want to be greedy and all that :)

DaveN

rstein68

4:14 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Matt used Hurricane Katrina relief sites as an example of sites that cropped up that did not get "sandboxed" even though they were new. It made me think that if you signup for adwords AND put adsense on your new site you have a better chance of getting traffic, getting noticed by google and staying unsandboxed.

mixer28

5:15 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Dave - the unusual thing about your site logs is that 'no referrer' is the biggest number.

A stable site would ideally be able to survive without relying solely on natural traffic from Google.

Relying on Google for 'free traffic' and not having other options would be a volatile business model.

With your site having so many no refer visitors it looks very stable.

So how is it done?

All I can think of is that for a new site writing lots of articles, press releases, some ppc, occasional banner/text ads and email marketing would be ways of generating traffic activity on a new site without search engines. So if site popularity of sorts means preferential treatment from Google this kind of approach could help.

I'm I getting close to the answer Dave?

[edited by: mixer28 at 5:20 pm (utc) on Nov. 24, 2005]

DaveN

5:18 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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'no referrer' means i get booked marked :)

DaveN

keno

7:30 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>> 'no referrer' means i get booked marked

“Click here for more free stuff” :-)

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Maybe = [toolbar.google.com...]

From what I can tell Adwords does not show up as "Adwords" in the referal logs. It shows up as "Google", and I would think Google knows it is PPC and not organic.

Froogle does show on the referal logs though, and is where I get most of my Google free traffic from, but it's not alot...just a thought/guess.

DaveN

7:31 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



i don't do PPC

WallyBob

7:43 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Energylevel - You're right buying traffic through adwords doesn't help you get listed in google.

DaveN - sorry to hear about your grandmum. Losing someone is always hard.

kwngian

7:43 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It made me think that if you signup for adwords AND put adsense on your new site you have a better chance of getting traffic, getting noticed by google and staying unsandboxed.

I am experiencing the exact opposite of this.

energylevel

8:01 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Signing up for adwords definately doesn't help in my experience.....

keno

8:06 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>>Signing up for adwords definately doesn't help in my experience.....

Wish I had thought of that 3 months ago when I launched one of my sites. But they had me in a box, so to speak... :-)

energylevel

8:06 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It needs to be a signal of quality for Google, I don't think Adsense or paying for Adwords is such an indication, good quality relevant inbound links that Google can't trace as bought for search engine gain like paid web directory links might the way to go ....

walkman

9:41 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)



>> Matt used Hurricane Katrina relief sites as an example of sites that cropped up that did not get "sandboxed" even though they were new.

not a good argument--unless he can show us that all of them managed to escape it. Not all new sites can get links from the Red Cross, CNN, MSNBC or Fema.

activeco

9:48 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Not all new sites can get links from the Red Cross, CNN, MSNBC or Fema.

True Walkman.
So they don't deserve the top from the very beginning.

energylevel

9:51 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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steveb ... are you sniffing something?

Are you a moderator, you're acting as though you are one?

energylevel

10:02 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



<<< not a good argument--unless he can show us that all of them managed to escape it. Not all new sites can get links from the Red Cross, CNN, MSNBC or Fema. >>>

I was thinking the exact same thing, it can be very difficult to acquire these types of inbound links, maybe if you already own one or more authority sites in a particular sector you can swing it for your new site by linking from you authority site(s), that's a rare case scenario though ...

activeco

10:13 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



maybe if you already own one or more authority sites in a particular sector you can swing it for your new site by linking from you authority site(s), that's a rare case scenario though..

Not exactly. That's the one of the main points of Sandbox believers: New site linked by an "authority" site, having good PR, but still - nowhere to be found.
It seems there are super-authority sites whose links are beyond questioning.
Unfortunately for many, DMOZ is not (anymore) one of them.

energylevel

10:35 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



<<< It seems there are super-authority sites whose links are beyond questioning. >>>

That means most of us might as well resign our new sites to being sandboxed unless there supersites are like Yahoo Directory where you can buy yourself in ...

activeco

10:38 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I don't think Y directory is in it either.

What many have been missing is that success and "authority" usually comes gradually.
You are not supposed to be a king merely by being born.

coburn

12:15 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Dave - brushing the London icycles off the toe-nails, your post has pulled me into this good guessing game!

Guess: you're writing quality copy or offering a valued resource for free and know how to publicise it?

So could 4,5,10 perhaps be your path into the SE's?
If so, then are they:
A. News (like bbc)
B. Specialist subject
C. public relations (prweb/slashdot)
D. Authority sites Owned by you

If I'm too close to the bone, pls sticky.

dougs

2:06 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Oh come on DaveN writing good copy, which planet you on.

DougS:)

BillyS

3:28 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This is an interesting one. Sorry to hear about your grandmother I lost mine earlier this year (back in April), she was 94.

Anyway, as long as everyone is guessing, what DaveN is telling me is this:

Don't try to get links, that's a SEO tactic. He's saying, try to get traffic by having some kind of high-traffic site point to your site.

- He also said it was an ecommerce site, that rules out things like content publisher (article mills).

- He doesn't do ppc (I agree, Adwords doesn't help)

So that really makes me think like a marketer. So that means:

1 - Put up an advertisement on a website that has high standards for their advertisers. Could be a text link on a high quality / well known website.

2 - Put out a press release of some sort that gets you noticed.

aeiouy

4:35 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



DaveN,

Sorry to hear about your grandmother. I don't know if you are still up for the guessing games, but I will throw a few questions out there.

Is it via some sort of high-yield traffic generation from places similar to /. or digg?

If not, are you having directly pay for the traffic you are receiving from these mystery links?

midwestguy

4:38 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi DaveN,

Just wanted to offer you my condolences on the passing away of your Grandparent. I know how much a Grandparent can mean to a person (indeed even the whole family)...and how big a hole they can leave for everyone in the family when they pass away.

FWIW, remembering back to such a time in my own family, it seems the best "ointment" for one's own heart was the love, compassion and just "being there" support -- and time -- shared and given to fellow family members who were similarly affected.

Again my condolences on your loss to you and your family.

Best wishes (and comfort) to you and yours in all regards,

Louis

billk89

5:51 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



1000000's of newsgroups or would that be spam?

McMohan

6:22 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Dave, my condolences are with you too. I had written a biography of my grandma with tears in my eyes all night after I heard the news. I was away on studies then.

I don't think I can add much to what midwestguy has written. Touching.

dfud

6:01 pm on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I apologize for the off-topic detour.

My Grandma passed away about 10 years ago. My Grandpa (her husband) passed about 20 years ago, my other Grandpa about 5 years ago.

I think of these people every day. It's amazing now to look back and realize the amount of impact they had on my life. So much more than I ever realized at the time.

If there is anyone out there that hasn't visited with their Grandparents for a while, I suggest you grab the phone, the car, or the plane - and get it done.

The only real regret I have in life is that I didn't spend more time with my elder relatives before they passed away.

I apologize for the off-topic detour.

Rynert

6:22 pm on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)



"Stop thinking like an SEO"

Create a great site. Sell an in demand product. Advertise offline (and some high profile online). Use permission marketing on the site. Visit every day/week for 5 days/weeks get a discount voucher sort of thing.

People have to keep coming back to that great site to get that great price for that great product. Throw in some 'tell your friends get bigger discount' type offers and you are sailing.

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