Playing in the Sand

Sometimes it may happen that a site owner will create a website, apply the best SEO techniques and yet nothing happens, no ranking. This website may be the recipient of a Google filter, the sandbox, which is a filter created by Google that is applied to new websites looking to rank on the search results page for specific keywords. The reason the filter was created is to prevent spammers and SEOs from monopolizing the search results by fulfilling all Google’s criteria. Many times a website will have been created for the main goal of taking the top search spots and in reality the website contains absolutely nothing useful. This would cause the quality of search results to drop.

Another reason for the sandbox effect is to hold back newly developed websites ( even legitimate ones) from immediately taking top placement on search result pages.

If you want to check out whether your website is being sand-boxed or if its being banned for some reason, there are a few ways to check: -If you optimized with your primary intention of showing up in Google search results, you check and you’re not ranked, but you test your keywords on Yahoo/live and it ranks well.

-If your website is outranked. Meaning, that you key in the specific name of your site minus the www and the com (for example “bitochon”) and its not showing up.

-Your page doesn’t rank even for an exact title match.

If you find that your website is being banned ( because when you typed in the full URL a message stated that your search didn’t match any documents) you need to contact Google and request to be placed back on. Just be sure to eliminate any factor from your website that may have caused you to be banned in the first place.

Now that you know why you are not being ranked you would like to do something to get yourself ranked. Unfortunately there’s almost nothing you can do to help it! You just need to wait until Google decides to release your site. In the interim do what you can to improve and develop your site. Add new content, modify the graphics, research what the customers will look for, etc and make it look its best before it gets sent out into the world (being ranked) Try to avoid over-optimization by refining your titles too much and perfecting the content too much. It won’t help you get out faster. Sometimes a site may lengthen their sandbox ‘vacation’ by attracting links from low quality sites or sites built specifically to fool Google.

Some people have deduced that there is a way expedite a sandbox release by receiving inbound links from reputable domains in a similar industry. Having these quality sites want to link to tours shows Google What type pf site you are or are trying to become. There is a way to avoid the sandbox altogether when launching a website. Try to stay away from popular, competitive keywords. If you create a site marketing a popular item or idea, of course Google will want to do a thorough checking into your site to ensure that you are genuine and not just trying to push your way into top placement with no real content. On the other hand a site targeting keywords that aren’t so popular won’t need the same researching.

Another idea is to register as a sub domain under a trusted, reputable domain. A new sub-domain will usually avid the sandbox altogether or at least have a significantly shorter stay.

The sandbox effect though a little frustrating for those couple of months is a real benefit in the long run. It helps to protect your website and established reputation from the sites cropping up on a constant basis by doing a thorough research on their credentials. Just keep optimizing the honest way.