The Google Sandbox is a symbolic term to explain why most new websites have poor rankings in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) in their initial phase. Few people are aware of “Sandbox.”
What is Google Sandbox?
In simple language, Google Sandbox is a probation period of a website, in the probation period Google will drive very little traffic and examines the quality of the website with on-page user interaction patterns.
Though Google never admitted directly that the Google Sandbox effect exists for any of the websites, but Matt Cutts, Former Head of Webspam Google once admitted indirectly that Sandbox exists for new websites. He further suggested to new website owners to put “Coming Soon Page” on their new website, and once they developed their site completely; within a month or two they should be able to rank on Google.
What is the function of the Google Sandbox?
Google Sandbox enables Google to filter out “Flash-in-the-Pan” websites from those that offer good quality and up-to-date content to their users on regular basis. It is within Google’s interest as well to ensure that results display within the SERPS lead to highly relevant, up-to-date, and useful websites to the users.
Relevancy is key to the search engine’s success, so it will take all steps to ensure come out with the most relevant search results to the users. Filtering out new websites and monitoring them on the initial stage may allow them to provide more accurate results within the real SERPs.
How long Google Sandbox exists?
Generally, the sandbox period might take 4-6 months for new websites to rank the first page on Google. But as an exception, some niches get top ranks on Google within 2-3 months as well.
So, to be more precise, the sandbox period varies across different niches.
In some niches, the Google sandbox period might prolong for 8 months or even a year.
Reverse Sandbox effect
Yes, the “reverse sandbox” effect is also claimed to exist, just like the “New Launches” in a store are displayed more prominently. This will encourage organic users to visit the page.
Google promotes new pages having good content, but without inbound links, are temporarily increased in rank.
David George said that Google applies to sandbox to all new websites, he claim that “it doesn’t seem to be borne out by experience.” He further said that he created a new website in October 2004 and had it ranked in the top 20 Google results for a target keyword within one month only.
He proclaims that “no one knows for sure if the Google sandbox exists.”
What stops a new website from ranking?
One of the most important quality characteristics for Google is Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EAT). Various other factors exist as well, including backlinks.
Though, it is quite unreal that a new website can get Google’s trust within just a month or two. Below is a list of factors that might be preventing a new website from ranking.
Lack of content
Content is the King, everyone knows. It is one of the most essential factors that Google notice on a new website. If Google did not see enough content/pages on the website, it is hard to understand its topical relevance.
So, keep writing good content so that Google can able to decide what to do with your website and what keyword bucket (topic) your website belongs to.
To rank a website, many SEOs experts are confident that Click Through Rate (CTR), bounce rate, and dwell time are among the ranking factors of a new website.
Google processes more behavioral data from your website and compares it with other sites, it might postpone ranking it for popular keywords.
Quality Backlinks are among the top THREE ranking factors for Google. If your content has a weak backlink profile and your website is not yet strong enough to pass “link juice” via internal links, why would Google rank it over other sites with strong backlinks?
Several studies confirmed that there is a strong correlation between the number of referring domains and rankings.
Google will ignore backlinks straight away if they are not high quality. So, make sure that you potentially build high quite backlinks always. One more important thing to be noticed is that any suspicious rapidly grown backlink profiles and anchor text over-optimization may penalize you.
Target Low volume keywords
Being a new website, forgot about high volume keywords; always target low volume keywords.
Do the research and find out the keywords that have low search volume with low competition. The search intent should be narrow enough to create insightful content around it.
Google will not take the risk of ranking new websites for high-volume keywords, in the initial stage of the domain.
Though basic SEO teaches us to “Target high volume keywords with less keyword competition,” but it doesn’t work for a new website nowadays. To find out low-volume Keywords, you can go with SEMrush.
Follow Silo Structure
Most bloggers overlooked the Silo Structure on their website, yet it is one of the important factors when it comes to rank a website.
Make sure you interlink your relevant articles with your other blog posts, the silo structure is incomplete without internal linking. You can be more generous with anchor texts in case of internal links.
Google is known to favor websites having insightful content around the common relevant theme.
Use keywords in the comment section
Believe it or not, but Google crawlers can find out the difference between the main content and the comment.
All you need to do is to use a trick in the comment section of your blog posts and mention keywords in the comment section.
Google checks the presence of the keywords in the comment section as well, while indexing, ranking, and showing the site in SERPs.
Buy an active domain
Buying an active domain is a good choice since active sites are already getting traffic and are out of the sandbox period as well.
If you manage to outreach at least a couple of sites in your specific niche you are trying to enter, you’ll probably end up buying a website that is already out of the Google Sandbox.
By paying hundred dollars or even less, you can easily avoid the sandbox period of 6-8 months, depending upon the niche you select.
So, these are some of the best ways to come out of the Google Sandbox and rank your website at the earliest possible.
Though strategies referred to above in the article are not confirmed and may not completely get rid of the Google Sandbox effect on your website, but definitely, helps to reduce the time significantly.
Whenever you start a website, try to focus mainly on quality content, promotion, social media, along with a couple of quality backlinks.
We do hope you found this article helpful to skip the Google Sandbox period and to boost the SEO of your website.
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