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Old 09-10-2004   #1
randfish
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Google's Sandbox (slowness) | Does it apply to sites, links or both?

Whenever people review sites that I work on, they consistently mention that Google is running in 'slow-motion' and the the 'sandbox' effect is what is keeping rankings for newer sites, etc. limited.

I'm wondering if anyone has evidence or proof of what exactly the sandbox factor affects.

1. Does GG dampen newer sites by checking when that site was first indexed?

2. Does GG dampen new links and if so, does anyone have an estimation of how long this dampening lasts? Are there certain sites, links that are exempt?

3. Does GG care about new pages, or is this 'sandboxing' restricted to new sites?

4. Does GG take into account major overhauls in design or content, so that an old site that has been re-designed or re-built is put into the 'sandbox' again?

Thanks for your input and please share personal experiences as they provide excellent data for the rest of us.
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Old 09-11-2004   #2
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Thanks randfish

These are very interesting questions. Since I first heard about this "sandbox effect", I wonder if there is something real behind this, or just a successful locution...

The problem is we don't need a "sandbox" to exist to explain why some phenomenons affect new sites.
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Old 09-11-2004   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randfish
Whenever people review sites that I work on, they consistently mention that Google is running in 'slow-motion' and the the 'sandbox' effect is what is keeping rankings for newer sites, etc. limited.

I'm wondering if anyone has evidence or proof of what exactly the sandbox factor affects.

1. Does GG dampen newer sites by checking when that site was first indexed?

2. Does GG dampen new links and if so, does anyone have an estimation of how long this dampening lasts? Are there certain sites, links that are exempt?

3. Does GG care about new pages, or is this 'sandboxing' restricted to new sites?

4. Does GG take into account major overhauls in design or content, so that an old site that has been re-designed or re-built is put into the 'sandbox' again?

Thanks for your input and please share personal experiences as they provide excellent data for the rest of us.
1. I do not think it makes sense to place the bulk of the weight of the concept onto sites...the link building is what is expensive and I think it is primarily on links. I think authoritative type sites are given more leeway / see results quicker though.
2. I think I have been told about 3 months to 14 weeks from a few people. I think it is more about links than sites though.
3. I think its about links. once a site is fairly authoritative its links are likely not effected as much.
I put a new page on a large site and within a week for a travel related term that page was ranking at #2 (bunches of links added in that week too)
4. NO
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Old 09-11-2004   #4
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1. Can't give a definitive answer to that at the moment. Still testing.

2. Yea, my opinion is that they're aging backlinks for sure and have been for quite a while now. Still observing whether it is all backlinks being aged or only backlinks to sites within the sandbox.

3. If you add a new page to an existing domain that has already cleared the sandbox, it is treated normally.

4. No. As long as it is an existing domain that has cleared the sandbox, site overhauls won't have any "re-sandboxing" effects.

Of course, those are only my opinions. The sandbox is still a phenomenon that is being tested out by webmasters so you are likely to find a lot of differing viewpoints on the topic.

"there is something real behind this, or just a successful locution"

The sandbox is real. Feel free to launch some brand new domains if you feel the need to test it out.

Last edited by chrisnrae : 09-11-2004 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 09-11-2004   #5
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I've only been able to see the sandbox in action on a couple of client sites, but these sites were new and so the complete lack of ranking and traffic was very noticeable. Harder to see on well established sites that alerady have a good range of existing backlinks.

From what I've seen, it's the links that appear to be sandboxed, rather than the site itself. However, the issue is complicated by the fact that established sites can add new content and have it rank fine, whereas new sites struggle much more.

Some kind of effect definitely exists, though, and I make a point of warning all clients about it. Trouble is, there's no real idea on the precise details involved with the sandbox - other than SEO's involved with heavy link-building have been reporting the issue since at least April.
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