Hello, I've developed a website for a very competitive field. We've won 300 natural links from blogs (some of them very well known not exactly Techcrunch but similar relevance in my country) and from digital versions of very well known newspapers. I've never bought or exchanged a link, I'm building something honest and for the long run.
All the links are from articles or posts about our market, maybe 60% from relevant ones, and the rest from the typical blogs written with love by their authors. The anchor text is most of the times our brand, but all the text surrounding is on-topic. We had this link with natural rhythm, a good quantity the weeks of launch, and the rest spontaneously month by month.
Our market is some country in Europe. And our backlink profile is very much powerful than our competitors (who basically buy or exchange links through other webs they own as their corporate blogs in example).
I've write this long description because I want to explain what kind of work I've done.
Our website now has 50-90 visitors a day (almost nothing), half of them trough referral links, a quarter from searches with our brand and the last 25% from long phrases or not the most competitive keywords. This is a Sandbox.
I'm in this sandbox more than 18 months since first link or since first visit trough google (they're 3 days difference). Yes, our domain was a new one, and the link bait and seo work started the same day we launched the website. That's why we are sandboxed.
Now we are desperate, because we are now two weeks away from the day we passed the 18 months limit.
The sandbox effect over our website has evolved a lot from first days to this moment, month by month, but our traffic and our place in google listings are not natural. It's still very very strong. We see better rankings each month through webmaster tools, but now we are at 18th month and two weeks, and I don't know how much more I have to wait.
My question is, How long I'm gonna have to wait? We are a small start up and we are very stressed, running without incomes. We didn't think it would happen because we thought Google Sandbox wouldn't exist this days.
I'd like to receive some feedback from people working with new brands, new domains in insurance, hotel, cheap flight industries, because they are maybe more competitive than my niche.
[edited by: tedster at 5:50 pm (utc) on Dec 9, 2012]