Google-Sandbox Effect

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Does the Google Sandbox Effect work in 2021

By-Naman Agarwal

April 3, 2021

Maybe every blogger knows about the 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.

According to my understanding, it was the first time period that prevented new websites from ranking on Google, even if they were 100% relevant and excellent. Here your silo structure, backlinks, and other SEO stuff won’t matter.

Google has not made this official.

But almost all of the SEO experts face this sandbox effect on new websites.

Google SandBox Effect: How it is Discovered

In 2004, webmasters noticed that new websites are not ranking on Google for few months, despite their SEO efforts.

Google took longer to index new web pages, but they did not rank even for low-competition keywords and phrases. But they were ranking well on other search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo.

This “sandbox” effect lasts 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. Google might not trust brand new websites, which 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.”

New material can be ranked higher in Google search results but for a brief period of time. In the meanwhile, Google analyses the behavior of visitors to determine whether it meets the user’s needs or not.

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.

Also check: What is a Key Presser

Here is a list of factors that might be preventing a new website from ranking:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. Google may delay ranking your website until it analyses additional behavioural data and compares it to other sites.
  3. 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.

Creating backlinks in a month is possible, but Google will disregard them if they are not high-quality.

Also read: Exercise to increase Height

Suspicious rapidly grown backlink profiles and anchor text over-optimization may get you a penalty.


If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch through the comment section.

How long does Google Sandbox last?
between 1 and 6 months
How long does Google Sandbox punish new sites? The Google Sandbox effect lasts somewhere between 1 and 6 months. The negative effect on rankings is very strong for the first couple of months, and by the time you’re past three months, you should be pretty good.
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?

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.

Google-Sandbox Effect
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Written by -Naman Agarwal
Hi, I am Naman Agarwal the owner of NalFrost. A blog that helps you master the art of Blogging. Join our Telegram Community and stay connected with other like-minded bloggers.
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