Maybe every blogger knows about Sandbox effect.
Perhaps everyone has faced that too, even I have faced that too in all my websites.
But the truth is that there is no official saying that The SandBox exists.
Google Sandbox is a commonly believed filter that’s used by Google to prevent new websites from ranking high in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). It’s believed that Google uses this filter to put some restrictions on rankings for new websites.
From my consideration it is the starting time period that didn’t allow new websites to get ranked on google even if it was 100% relevant and great.
This is not officially announced by the Google.
But almost all of the SEO experts faces this sandbox effect on new websites.
Google SandBox: How it was Discovered
In 2004, SEO Masters and webmasters noticed that new websites are not ranking on Google for few months, despite their SEO efforts.
New websites were delayed to get indexed by Google, but they did not rank even for relatively low-competition keywords and phrases. But they were ranking well on other search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo.
This “sandbox” effect last from a few weeks to several months.
That’s only because maybe Google only wants to serve authoritative and high-quality content to its users and might not trust in brand new websites, that actually made sense.
Why Does the Sandbox Theory Make Sense?
While holding back new websites from ranking could give Google more time to evaluate the website quality and fight spam.
A week-old website suddenly breaking into the SERPs for a competitive keyword, beating the pages that have been ranking there for years is suspicious, right?
Besides, we all know that backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors. And it is highly unlikely that pages on a new website will accrue strong backlink profiles within a few weeks. In addition, many SEOs strongly believe that Google considers user behavior in their ranking algorithms via click-through rates, dwell time, and other metrics, which they can potentially collect and analyze.
The latter gave birth to another common SEO theory known as the “honeymoon period.”
It is observed that Google can rank new content higher in search results for a short period of time to understand if it satisfies the users’ intent by looking at visitors’ behavior.
What stops a new website from ranking?
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E‑A-T) of a website is one of the most important quality characteristics for Google. On top of that, there are backlinks and numerous other factors. It is very unlikely that a new website is able to earn Google’s trust within just a month or two.
Here is a list of factors that might be preventing a new website from ranking:
- Lack of content
Google might not see enough pages on your website to understand its topical relevance. They might need more data to decide what to do with your website and what keyword bucket (topic) it belongs to.
- Lack of user signals
As I already mentioned above, many SEOs are confident that CTR, bounce rate, and dwell time are among the ranking factors. Until Google processes more behavioral data for your website and compares it with other sites, it might postpone ranking it for popular keywords.
- Lack of quality backlinks
Backlinks (along with content and RankBrain) are one of the top 3 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 the sites with strong backlinks?
Our own study of ranking factors showed a strong correlation between the number of referring domains and rankings.
You can potentially build quite a few backlinks in just one month, but if they’re not high-quality, Google will just ignore them.
Suspicious rapidly grown backlink profiles and anchor text over-optimization may get you a penalty.
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How long does Google Sandbox last?
What is Sandbox in SEO?
Term: Google Sandbox in Search Engine Optimization
Definition: The Google sandbox refers to a commonly held belief that Google has a filter that places all new websites under restrictions for a certain amount of time to prevent them from ranking in searches
Does Google Sandbox still exist?
The Opinion of SEO Specialists
The team of Search Engine Watch proved that Sandbox does not exist. They launched a new blog in 2018 and in 4 months, and they have reached the first page of the Google search results.
Why is it called a sandbox?
A sandpit was originally a pit from which sand was extracted: in this meaning it dates back to the 15th century. The meaning of a children’s play area, generally called a sandpit in British English and a sandbox in American English, dates from the late 19th century.