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Sure it hurts when you're trying to get a new site to "kick in" -- but from a Google viewpoint it's a long-term win,because it helps to preserve their core competence. I have not seen any evidence that GOOG revenues are off because of it, either.
I would think investors would be delighted to see such long-term protection against quality erosion.
If YOUR site is sandboxed, there are still ten sites in the top ten search results -- and someone else is serving the advertisements you'd like to be paid for. Google isn't harmed.
I have a site that is sandboxed, but when I search for the competitive terms for which I optimize my pages, thousands of results are returned. And, many of those are running adsense. Furthermore, many of us who have "sandboxed" sites may also be using adwords. That means lots and lots of money for G.
Google GAINS from a sandbox because new sites HAVE to buy adwords to get traffic - its that simple.
The longer the sandbox the more they make.
Of course they do have to watch they dont turn the sandbox knob to far otherwise they are left with stale serps without any new site content.
Currently imo the sandbox is about as long as it can be. The serps already verge of suffering from being stale as they have pushed this one factor to the edge already, anymore and the results are next to useless.