Most times you put in the right effort and even do everything the right way but you don’t seem to get results. It may be that some things are not just right like the design, the approach, and many more. Perhaps, your marketing strategy may need to be upgraded and, sometimes, other factors may be the root cause.
In ensuring that search engines are kept relevant and useful and only get to top the chart, one of the things Google does most times is that it holds back sites that has meaningful content, user friendly interface. They also deliver a lot of resources and utility to their audience. If you know your way around Google sandbox, the impact will be much less than it will be if you choose to panic and make the wrong moves. Google sandbox is that place your site gets to when it’s new.
What is Google Sandbox?
Google sandbox is more like a filter plug-in with new sites, it main function is to stop it from ranking and most importantly for keywords with high competition, until they are more established and Google can really know what the site is all about.
Countless sites are been launched every new day; many of the site owners adopt techniques that can easily manipulate the search engines and gain more views and clicks in that regard. Google dislikes pushing irrelevant things to the top of a search. So sites undergo this filter stage so as to certify the quality and intent of the site if it is positive or not.
Does Google Sandbox Exist?
Though Google is yet to ascertain the existence of Google sandbox, there are many indications that it exists. Even beyond indications there are logical reasons for it existence. It does serve a purpose for Google that it helps them put their search engine in order.
There are recent conversation about whether Google does actually sandbox sites and these come up when Gary IIlyes made a tweet about that and he rightly denied it ever existed.
It is not even necessary for Google to confirm its existence when a whole lot of new sites have always had the same issues in getting a good rank when they are launched at first. It is now clear that something is holding them back. That thing that holds them back and denied them to rank is the filter Google has put in place to filter them until they really know the site is the actual one they want to display.
How Does Google Sandbox Affect My Site?
Google does have a very important impact on high competition keywords. There are more people that are trying to make their sites meet these requirements and rank for these terms.
Google makes use of the sandbox filter to make sure that sites with low quality content don’t take over results but good sites will be accommodated.
The most useful impact is in terms of search clicks. When you are caught by the sandbox, you won’t be appearing frequently and often in search results as it ought to be when you are outside the sandbox. This implies that lesser visitors are being directed to your website via the keywords you are trying to get ranked for. It can make your effort not being recognized and it will appear as if you are not doing the right thing in respect of SEO. This may likely be the case though.
If truly you are implementing the SEO best practices as a guide, you may be stuck in the sandbox and anticipating that you’re getting free so the full power of all you’ve been doing will generate more traffic for you. Till then, you may notice that you have less traffic; I mean way smaller than what you expected or anticipated.
Sites get ranked on Google searches based on many factors. It will be very difficult for your site to achieve its full potentials until it’s out of the sandbox.
Why Does Google Have a Sandbox?
Google puts sandbox in place mainly because the first impression really matters. When your sites get indexed, it is creating a first impression in Google and they are less concerned if you dress up in your Christmas outfit or Sunday wear to impress them, or if you are really as great as you claim to appear.
A lot of bloggers do implement quick-fix SEO strategies to influence search engines so as to get more viewers and visitors. This results in degrading the quality of searches to everyone. It has always helped them perform better than sites with far good or superior qualities. They also offer less quality than sites that are optimized in a good way, but may still get to rise above good results in search lists.
Google is well aware of these strategies just like everyone. Google sandbox acts a filter to keep those sites from overtaking search results. Someone who has great experience in SEO tactics can easily put up many sites out to grab quick rankings. Sandbox is always active so as to keep these tand actions from being successful.
Once Google is more familiar with your site, you will definitely get out of the sandbox; then all your efforts will start directing traffic to your site. It just requires the needed time for search engine to understand.
How Long Does the Filter Last?
It has been adjourned that Google sandbox filter lasts for about six months at maximum.
The length that it affects your site depends on a few factors, like:
- Content on your site
- Keywords you’re targeting
- Your niche
The reason these factors affect how Google scrutinizes your site is, “Different sites are being targeted in so many ways and by different strategies. If you are in with many black hat SEO practices, then you may likely be in the sandbox for a little longer. But if you are going after low competition keywords, you are definitely working your way out of the sandbox sooner.
It is best not to try to predict when you will be out of the sandbox. Instead of that, you need to focus on building out your site the best possible way you can. Always make sure that you are leaving no stone unturned in building and coming up with great content. If you consistently do this, you will come out of the sandbox quickly. It will help you come up with an optimized site. It won’t be there forever and you need to be ready to get the best possible traffic from Google the very moment you are out.
5 Ways to Avoid Google Sandbox
There is no guarantee that you will avoid the sandbox. There are things you can do to improve your chances of staying out of it. If you are already in it, doing these things could even help you get noticed sooner enough.
- Always examine and check out everything on your site and make sure you are following SEO practices. If you’ve been indulging in any black hat techniques, you get rid of them and start doing things the right way.
- You need to also reconsider the links to and from your site; it is quite important to have high-quality links in the right proportions of follow and no follow. If all links are being influenced or sponsored, it can change the perspective from which Google views it.
- Do a regular update of your blog with new and high-quality content. Manage your site in such a way that Google can see you have good thoughts and intentions.
- Make use of a sitemap .xml file and a robots .txt file to ensure Google crawlers can read and index your site properly. If your site is difficult for the crawlers to understand, it is not likely it will get updated and there is high tendency that it will be in the sandbox for a longer time.
- There is need to update the tags on each of the web pages of your site. This indicates to Google that your site is updated, which they really fancy.
Engaging in these tasks thoughtfully can help you avoid the sandbox or even help get out in an easier way. You can also decide to launch your site before it will require a lot of traffic and just wait it out. Always remember that there is no assurance for any path you chose to take. If you are opting for a very competitive keyword, you may likely end up there.
It is not always a bad idea. Most times, it is just an indication that you are doing things the right way and Google is doing everything possible to make sure your efforts to optimize your site is white hat and not black hat.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO also known as black hat tactics are names given to a certain theory of search engine optimization. It does have negative effects on even sites that don’t make use of these tactics.
Bloggers who adopt this type of attitude build a site that gets to the top of a Google search for keywords at every cost. What they don’t engage in is creating content or delivering quality. If you have tried to search and in return you get low quality results that appear more as spam, it shows you have been on the receiving end of these strategies.
One of the things black hat SEO is liable to is violating terms of service of Google; this may in turn have negative effects on your business.
Major examples of black hat SEO are:
- Keyword stuffing: it refers to writing content that exists only to repeat keywords. This will help you rank for those keywords, but it is not reliable for making quality and useful content.
- Link manipulation:This may involve a lot of things which may range from spamming links on different sites to buying links. You are not going to get quality links simply because you are running a quality site. You will need to build them quickly from low quality sites or purchasing them to get a false advantage.
- Sneaky redirects. These happen when a person visits a page and he is automatically taken to another.
- Automated or ‘spun’ content: Most blog owners use programs to create content, rather than having it written. This always results into low-quality content with nothing new to offer.
So far black hat SEO tactics can help increase ranking temporarily; Google has to find every way to guard against it. If they don’t, the quality of their searches will wind down. One of the surest ways of fighting against black hat SEO tactics and other means people find to manipulate search results is by using the Google sandbox.
White Hat SEO
This is often regarded as the opposite of black hat SEO. It refers to SEO best practices and other ways people use to optimize their sites that are also good for your business, your clients, and the search engines involved.
It is the type of SEO practice Google expected from people simply because it helps bring some of the best content to the proper place in search results.
SEO best practices are all about bringing the right and good quality to the right audience. It is one sure way to make people get the needed results. Much unlike black hat SEO, white hat SEO does ensure that people who visit your site always get to see what you have to offer and what they really need. It also helps you to create and build positive relationships in your particular niche when you engage with other sites.
The most important aspect of white hat SEO is creating good content. Google values and cherishes strong and quality content that will be updated from time to time. Though you may feel discouraged and not really like the idea of creating new and useful content and this will end you up in the sandbox, you need to put aside those thoughts.
See it that you are creating a portfolio of work that will bring you benefits for years to come.
Once you can come up with good and quality content, you need to find a name for yourself. Coming up with strong, positive backlinks profile is very imperative for your site success. Unlike black hat SEO tactics, white hat SEO is just about good content marketing and outreach. You find other people in your niche who can help promote your work because they find value in it and appreciate it.
Does it mean you should wait in doing the right things until your site is out of the sandbox? Absolutely not.
You need to always go with SEO best practices to avoid being hit by filters or algorithm changes anytime you are planning marketing and promotion.