One of the more richly debated topics amongst SEO experts is the
Google Sandbox. The pinnacle of online authority, Wikipedia, describes
the Google Sandbox thusly:
"According to the sandbox effect,
Google temporarily reduces the pagerank of new domains, placing them
into what is referred to as its sandbox, in an effort to counter the
ways that SEOs attempt to manipulate Google's page ranking by creating
lots of inboundlinks to a new web site from other web sites that they
Or, in other words, if you've got a new domain that Google
doesn't trust yet, you can be put in the sandbox and it's going to be
near impossible for you to rank for any competitive terms until Google
trusts you enough to take you out of the sandbox.
So, does the Google Sandbox exist, or is it a myth? I wasn't sure, so I asked the smartest SEO ninjas I know (and one of the smartest SEO people
), Rand Fiskin, from SEOmoz. Here's what he had to say:
"Google's sandbox is neither mythical nor cartoonish. It's spelled traffic doom for thousands of sites.
Although the causes of this frustrating filter (and the solution) are
still unknown, webmasters should be paying attention to potential signs
of danger. If pages on your site can't rank for obviously navigational
queries (particularly those that include your brand name), you might
want to look for
solutions to Google penalties
So there you have it.
How about you? Do you feel like you've had a site stuck in the Google Sandbox and are not allowed to play with the other children? Leave us a comment with your sandbox and ranking woes.
Originally published Dec 14, 2009 11:28:00 AM, updated October 20 2016