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How long to get out of the sandbox?

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by AfterHim.com, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. #1
    I haven't found a thread like this recently so I thought I'd post it.

    How long did it take your new site to get out of the sand box?
    SEMrush
    One of my sites has been in the 'box for over 4 months and I am frustrated...

    How long for you?
     
    AfterHim.com, Jul 21, 2005 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Tuning

    Tuning Well-Known Member

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    #2
    One of my site is 8 months old and is still in sbox for a competetive term.
     
    Tuning, Jul 21, 2005 IP
  3. tzimisce

    tzimisce Guest

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    #3
    8 months here and still playing in the sand.
     
    tzimisce, Jul 21, 2005 IP
  4. AfterHim.com

    AfterHim.com Peon

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    #4
    You guys are worthless...I was hoping for a answer like "5 months" or "6 months".

    thanks :)

    Anyone else?
     
    AfterHim.com, Jul 21, 2005 IP
  5. rjhere

    rjhere Banned

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    #5
    9 Months old and still buried in sand.... Bourbon update my site and many others surfaced briefly but only to refiltered out. Hopefully next update I'll be out of the sand.
     
    rjhere, Jul 21, 2005 IP
  6. larysmith711

    larysmith711 Notable Member

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    #6
    4-8 months well, one site 4 months ALL other 8-9 months.
     
    larysmith711, Jul 22, 2005 IP
  7. J.P

    J.P Notable Member

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    #7
    On to my 9th month now :)
     
    J.P, Jul 22, 2005 IP
  8. Dirkjan

    Dirkjan The Dutch SEO Guy

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    #8
    Depends on the keywords I guess. My websites usually got out in 4-5 months. But not the most heavily keywords I guess.
     
    Dirkjan, Jul 22, 2005 IP
  9. plmerlin

    plmerlin Guest

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    #9
    I'm in the same state and I feel the same way... I've 5 competitive KW in the top 10 with Yahoo and MSN (even one #1 with yahoo) but these 5 are between 120 and 190 with Google. I was told that was the sand box effect cool... and????

    And... messages I get are "good luck getting traffic from MSN or Yahoo" or "good luck with sandbox" or "wait for the next update" or "how is the moon today? guess what"....

    I would like to understand how the sandbox works so I can try to fix it or at least I know why.

    I feel that other players are saying "yeah, go back playing in your sandbox, we don't want you to join our table".

    So I'm like a lot of 'sandboxed', looking at the moon waiting for the next update.
     
    plmerlin, Jul 22, 2005 IP
  10. mjewel

    mjewel Prominent Member

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    #10
    OK, here we go again. Some people are going to disagree with me - some are going to tell you the sandbox doesn't exist - some are going to say it can last for a year. Instead of arguing the point, I will tell you what I have experienced with over 30 websites in many different sectors- and for keywords that considered competitive.

    The sandbox exits- of this there is no doubt in my mind. I can't say it exist for every single sector, just everyone I have experience with. The sandbox is a filter google uses on newer domains and older domains (not developed sites) that that have had ownership changes. During this time, google does not count your backlinks for purposes of rankings. They count towards PR, they show as backlinks, and it has nothing to do with getting pages indexed. Since the google algorithm relies heavily on backlinks- backlinks that are not factored in to SERPS during the sandbox- it makes it extremely difficult to rank well during the sandbox.

    I have never seen any proof the sandbox lasts longer than 3-4 months. Every single site has had competitive words that have gone from not ranking in the top 1000, to top 10 in google after 3-4 months- not all, but at least one (and I'm not any expert on SEO). The ranking jumps are experienced immediately, almost exactly at the three month plus a week or so point - There is nothing you can do to around this time period.

    Google is constantly tweaking is algorithm. I think some sites start ranking well after 6 or 9 months, etc., without doing anything because of this. They therefore incorrectly conclude they have just gotten out of the "sandbox" when they really weren't in the sandbox.

    On site content and even the domain name are also part of the google algorithm, so with the right content and domain name, it is still possible to rank fairly well in certain situations. Since most sites that you are competiting against have backlinks being counted, it makes it very hard to do so. The sandbox doesn't say "your site in new, so it can't rank in the top 10" rather it is because your backlinks aren't being counted that it doesn't rank.

    Google, MSN and Yahoo all have different algorithms. Just because you rank well in one or two, doesn't mean you should be ranking well in another. Google is much more "picky" about their backlinks. Relevant links from sites with higher PR are what you should concentrate on in my opinion.

    If your site is older than 4 months and still not ranking how you would like in google, it could be a number of other factors beside the sandbox.

    1) Your site could be getting a over-optimization or duplicate content penalty.

    2) Google can now detect css hidden text and is now starting to apply a penalty. This is a 30 day penalty. There are still people who use hidden text that are ranking well, but they are starting to hit these sites. Remove the hidden text and wait 30 or so days.

    3) Your on-site page isn't properly optimized with keyword text. I personally don't get into percentages, but make sure I use the keyword in a naturally sounding way.

    4) You don't have enough relevant "quality" back links using the keyword you are targeting. If you have a "bike shop" and the word you are targeting is "discount bikes" - you need to get static "discount bikes" links from sites that have something to do with bikes. It takes a lot more time to established these type of links so I think many people don't put the proper effort into it - and this is the primarly reason they aren't ranking how they would like.

    Take a look at the sites that are ranking in the top ten for the keyword you are targeting. What are they doing that you aren't? What PR do they have? Is the keyword in the title? How many quality backlinks to they have (start with try to get links from the sites that are linking to them). Apply to DMOZ- you may not get in, but it does help if you do, and it doesn't cost anything to apply and wait. Try to be objective with your site. Does it really deserve, when compared to what the top ranking sites have done, to be a top ranked site? Have you really put a lot of time into selective and static link building?

    Lastly, sometimes the keyword is so competitive that ranking in the top ten is going to very, very difficult. You can get a lot more traffic by concentrating on related, less competitive keywords. For instance, if you were trying to get in the top 10 for "hosting" - you'll see by looking at the search results that you are going up against sites with a PR8. The number 3 ranking has 3,100 google backlinks. Not a single one is less than a PR6. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them are spending thousands of dollars for links to their site. Don't concentrate on PR, but PR is a reflection of quality links to a site. You need a lot of high PR links (or a few really high ones) to get a PR8 for hosting. You also might be competing against sites that use black hat SEO like cloaking.

    Also remember that a robot can't tell how nice your site looks. Your site may look a lot nicer than other sites, but that has nothing to do with SERPS. Some of the best looking sites don't rank well because they don't have enough text on their pages. If your site is properly optimized, all you really can do is continue to build quality links. For purposes of backlinks, don't use what yahoo or MSN shows, how many is google showing? Google doesn't show all the links- but compare a competitors google backlinks to your google backlinks.
     
    mjewel, Jul 22, 2005 IP
  11. randfish

    randfish Peon

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    #11
    My direct experience with the sandbox comes from several sites, and I also operate the sandbox detection tool, so I see a lot of sites with very high sandbox scores and can analyze them.

    I've seen sites "come out" anywhere from 2 months to 14 months after going in. I've also never seen an individual site come out by itself - there's always a "mass exodus" where at least 3-5 sites I know of (and probably thousands I don't) are released. This has made me conclude that no active amount of activity can push you out before an update, but there certainly are criteria or actions you can take to get released earlier rather than later (unelss it's all luck).

    BTW - When you do get out, it's always nice to be #1 for everything, so I'd concentrate on that. When my sites were released they went from ranking #150+ to #1 for many competitive terms all at the same time - non-competitive terms, too.
     
    randfish, Jul 22, 2005 IP
  12. plmerlin

    plmerlin Guest

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    #12
    Thank you mjewel very impressive explanation, very good tips. I'll verify all of them.

    Yesterday I did a McDar Keyword Analysis and I found that: (When I say competitor, it's one of the top ten ranking)
    My site has the same PR than 1 competitor
    More G BL than 4 competitors
    More pages than 4 competitors
    More Yahoo BL than 8 competitors - knowing it doesn't matter for G
    My allinanchor for G is #5, 4 competitors are not even found in top 100 allinanchor.

    So I'll continue to verify and look to improve.
     
    plmerlin, Jul 22, 2005 IP
  13. westhaven

    westhaven Well-Known Member

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    #13
    how do u detect whether a site is in sandbox or not
     
    westhaven, Jul 22, 2005 IP
  14. mjewel

    mjewel Prominent Member

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    #14

    I don't know what you mean by "update" - are you talking about an internal update, not the toolbar update? My experience has shown stagered results- infact, I had a site come out today. What competitive terms do you rank #1 for? I looked at your site, and it's a clean design, but I noticed it doesn't even have a meta tag and the keyword you seem to be targeting "search engine optimization" doesn't show in the first 1000 google search results according to McDar.
     
    mjewel, Jul 22, 2005 IP
  15. randfish

    randfish Peon

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    #15
    mjewel - Ha ha! SEOmoz is my site for visitors - I'm not targeting search engines with it :D It gets plenty of good traffic from referrals and loyal readers.

    We manage about 6 sites in house for different clients (mid-large) and through e-mails and conversations with people who use the tools, as well as aggregate data from them, I review several sandboxed sites each week.

    By update, I don't mean anything other than a release for many sites at once. It comes with much greater frequeny now (2-3X per month) than in the early sandbox days - there was a period of nearly 6 months last year where no sites that I or anyone else in the forums was aware of escaped!

    Westhaven - the sandbox detection tool compares several items - how you're ranked in Google's SERPs compared to allinanchor, allintext, allintitle, etc. and rankings at MSN, Yahoo! & Teoma. It also compares your site's age, inbound links, PR, etc. against the top 10 ranking sites for the term to see if you're "strong" enough to be competing there.
     
    randfish, Jul 22, 2005 IP
  16. ashiezai

    ashiezai Peon

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    #16
    9 months and counting ..
     
    ashiezai, Jul 23, 2005 IP
  17. westhaven

    westhaven Well-Known Member

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    #17
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. :)
    Can u pls tell me what tool you use for detecting whether a site is in sandbox or you call your tools "allinanchor, allintext, allintitle, etc. "
     
    westhaven, Jul 23, 2005 IP
  18. Tuning

    Tuning Well-Known Member

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    #18
    Tuning, Jul 23, 2005 IP
  19. westhaven

    westhaven Well-Known Member

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    #19
    Thanks tunning :)
     
    westhaven, Jul 23, 2005 IP
  20. dejaone

    dejaone Well-Known Member

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    #20
    A search engine consists of 1) crawler, 2) indxe database and 3) search engine software (the one that answrs your search). in order to saerch query in less than a second, like most large-scale software, what search engines do is to create massiv index database. If the size of page content is 1G, the index database is probably 10G.
    So it's very expensive to update the index database.

    Even you've built lot of links among other things, the strength of those links aren't applied to your site unless there's a rebuild of index database (an update). this happens monthly.

    The change of algo happens yearly. There're many different types of search engine update.
     
    dejaone, Jul 23, 2005 IP