Though based purely on conjectures – Sandbox is perhaps Google’s strongest bid against link manipulation. To put it simply, Google Sandbox is reportedly a filter secretly rolled by Google to prevent new sites from ranking at the top. As experts have put it—you might as well do everything right with your new site only to be left confused as to why your website isn’t ranking as it should have.
The Existence of Sandbox is Shrouded in Mystery
Needless to say, as Google never officially confirmed its existence, webmasters have remained confused regarding the ways in which they can step up visibility. It has repeatedly been seen that though new sites were indexed by Google they were not ranked. These new sites – however – ranked duly on Yahoo and Bing.
While a few rued this “confusion”, most of the experts saw this move as a probation period for new sites whereby even if you are doing everything right under the sun, your site will not really rank until a certain period.
Tracing its Past and Present
It’s very interesting to note that Google’s Sandbox effect was actually noticed in phases—the two most dominant years perceivable being 2004 and 2014. Yes. It was way back in 2004, when the site owners got an inkling of the Sandbox-like effects. Sites were not ranked despite all the meaningful efforts.
In 2014, with the supposed resurgence of Sandbox, the black hat forums went abuzz with the possibilities of Google’s renewed ambush on spam. Some opined that when it came to seeing your new site on the first page of Google, it was not only about getting the technicalities of organic search right but also about improving your signals against the existing sites. According to them, Google, here clearly focused on “competitiveness”.
There were others who clearly ruled out the existence of a filter called Sandbox but nevertheless didn’t deny the existence of Sandbox-like effects that prioritized only the efforts of dedicated webmasters.
It has also been wisely pointed out that Google Sandbox was Google’s way of prioritizing “authority” and “trust”. Since the older sites enjoyed a substantive history of trust, they continued enjoying unperturbed visibility in case they did everything else right.
Is it Possible for New Sites to Rank In Spite of “Sandbox”?
Those suggesting more lateral solutions to this problem opined that since link building remained the crux of site visibility, it’s wiser to introduce a tweak to our approach in this case. It’s important to acknowledge that though conventional link building is not working anymore, links are vital to growth. So, instead of concentrating on link building for your own domain, think about building links for others’ domain.
An efficacious way to boost your ranking would be to aim for third-party validation. Look out for third-party sites allowing active links whereby you’re in a position to work on third-party validation by drawing links from authoritative—sites- however, be on your guard against unwittingly veering towards spammy activities. Adopt a Whitehat link building approach that will help you power third-party sites better than what your own website will do. Business directories, article sites and presell pages are just a few options you can explore in this regard.