Here’s the deal- you design an absolutely beautiful website every necessary code. You write great content and make all of them optimized. Yet, your website doesn’t make it to the top until the end.
That’s what Google SandBox is.
The Google SandBox is a belief that Google has its filter that forbids all new websites to rank in search engines for a certain amount of time.
Let’s emphasize that in a fact that it’s only a ‘belief’. Google has not officially confirmed the sandbox. But there’s a huge SEOs community that is confident about its existence.
The sandbox effect was first noticed in 2004. Webmasters and SEO experts say that the new websites ranking very well in Bing and Yahoo didn’t rank for low-competition keywords in Google. This ‘sandbox’ effect can last for a few weeks to several months.
So, is it even true?
Probably YES, because that’s what the expert believe.
Probably NO, because we can’t say until it is officially confirmed.
Some experts claim that such a sandbox effect only applies to the highly competitive keyword or phrases. It can be counteracted if the website targets narrow (long-tail phrases). Some others believe that sandbox exists, but can be avoided for uncommon websites. By uncommon websites, they mean websites that give unordinary services which are barely in demand now but is rapidly gaining popularity and directing traffic.
Does it make sense?
A week-old web page suddenly entering into the SERPs for a highly competitive keyword by beating other pages that have been ranking for years is suspicious, isn’t it?
As we know, Google wants to serve high-quality authoritative content. The fact that it might not trust new websites actually makes sense. Holding new websites from ranking gives Google time to evaluate the quality of the website and fight spam.
Also, we ought not to forget that building back-links is a major part of the SEO. And it’s unlikely that the new website gets enough back-links to be on the top. Also, there are other metrics such as dwell time, click-through rates, etc which Google analyzes for a website. For such metrics, the website should at least be running for some time. Link spam is driven by SEO experts who try to manipulate Google’s ranking by making many inbound links for a brand new web site from different other web sites they own. This could also be checked.
Reverse Sand Box
Here’s the twist if SandBox exists, so does the ‘Reverse SandBox’ effect. It is claimed that new pages with very good content (but lack inbound links) can temporarily get a position in the ranking. Imagine a book store featuring ‘New Releases’ more prominently. Such Reverse SandBox exists to encourage some organic building of the World Wide Web.
We know that, beyond anything, Google always looks for the quality of a website. In such a context, SandBox actually makes sense. But why do they keep hiding its existence? Google clearly denies it’s existence. Let’s see if they talk about it more in the future.