Web Design & Digital Marketing Agency London & Devon

The Google Sandbox – What Is It and How Do You Get Out Of It?

Keeping our language jargon-free is something we try and keep on top of at Priority Pixels. But occasionally, a term or action enters the tech world that needs a bit of explanation, not only in its name, but how it affects websites as well. So we’ve taken this opportunity to try and shed some light on the Google Sandbox – what it is, how it works, and just…. why?

What is the Google Sandbox?

Ok, so let’s get the big question out of the way first: What is the Google Sandbox? In simple terms, the Google Sandbox is a sort of probationary holding pen for new websites. When your site goes live, regardless of how brilliant your content is, it’s held in a kind of ‘approval queue’, so it won’t rank well – even if you have killer keywords, strong SEO, and incredible inbound links.

Generally, the Sandbox is there as a discretionary filter to help sift out any spam sites getting too far up the rankings too quickly through buying links, then getting banned. Though any kind of site can be placed in the sandbox, the issue is more relevant for new websites that want to get top ranking for the most highly competitive keyword search terms.

If your site contains less competitive keywords, it could mean less Sandbox time. Having really competitive keywords could mean being in there for six months, but it’s usual to expect your site to be in the Sandbox for about 3 months. At which point your site will be given full credit for its content, and you’ll appear in the SERPS. And the better your content and the development of the site, the more authority Google will give it.

But it’s not necessary for every site to be dumped into the Sandbox. You might be lucky and have managed to avoid your site being in there at all. If that’s been the case, there could be a few different reasons for it. If you registered your domain and put your site live before Google launched the Sandbox filter in 2004 – so, super old in tech terms – then chances are you’ll have escaped.

The other way you may have avoided it is by using particularly non-competitive keywords and search terms throughout your site. In which case, its stay in the Sandbox may have been so fleeting that it would have gone unnoticed – by you and everyone else.

Cutting down your Sandbox time

There’s a good way to tell if your site definitely is in the Sandbox. You’ll already know if your site has a strong Google PageRank, with good inbound links, and excellent SERPs ranking for your low-end search keywords. So if it’s not appearing for your more competitive and important keywords, then you know why

But if it seems like your site is being unnecessarily, or unfairly, stuck in the Sandbox, unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do except wait it out. As we’ve already mentioned, Sandbox time can vary greatly from one to six months, with around three months being the norm. Google hold all the cards here, and there’s not much you can do to get out any quicker.

Having said that, there is a bit of a workaround to avoid getting the sand between your pixels at all. When you start the process of building your website, and way before it’s ready to unleash onto the world as the super slick site you’ve designed, get it live as quickly as you can. That might mean you have little or no content and, naturally you won’t get any search results from it, but it will cut down your Sandbox duration.

As you keep adding content, keywords, and titles and tags, the countdown to your release from the Sandbox will have started. And by adding a plentiful supply of inbound links, you’ll navigate the new links filter as well. Anything you can do to speed up your site’s appearance online should be looked into – including the possibility of buying an already existing domain name.

Your timing here is critical, and as you continue work on your site, your Sandbox time will be shaved, bit by bit. And if you time it right, by the time you announce the live launch date, you’ll have avoided any Sandbox downtime at all.

Supercharge your content

Once your site is finally out of the Sandbox, you might find it still doesn’t perform as well as you expected. So why should that be? Well, that comes down to your content and its keywords – or lack of them. While you may have been in the sandbox for a short time, or even a month or more, your keywords can make you or break your site.

Your best remedy for this is to supercharge your content with good SEO, keywords, and search terms. It could also mean an increase in good inbound links and link anchor text throughout. Whatever issues there might be, none of them are impossible to overcome, and with some effort, you should start to see your site rise up the SERPs.

Keep your stay short

So rather than focus on the frustration of being held against your will in Google’s imaginary enclosure, use it to your advantage. Spend your Sandbox time wisely to continually add fresh content and incoming links to the site. And don’t forget your on-page and off-page factors too – check your links, title tags, keywords, and site map, ensuring they’re as good as you can get them. And when your Sandbox probation is over, get ready to see your site take flight and rise to the top.

So while getting stuck in the Google Sandbox isn’t much fun, Priority Pixels can help you get the most out of your site while you’re in there, and make your stay as short as possible. Call the team today on 0800 319 6198 or email us at hello@prioritypixels.co.uk for more information.

 


Share This

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Goolge+ LinkedIn Email
Quote 5

Priority Pixels were fantastic to work with, incredibly personable and a pleasure to commission for the design of our site. I would thoroughly recommend them to any other small business in need of a new site and will be continuing to use them in the future.

Quote
June 14, 2018Carsten Dean
deansproperty.london
Quote 5

Initially I rang enquiring about SEO / ad word marketing only. But I was so impressed with their service and level of professionalism received, that I had my hosting transferred to them as well. I find Priority Pixels informative, proactive and reliable. He lets me know exactly what is going to be done and by when, which is so important to me, so I don't have to waste my time chasing deadlines. Highly recommend.

Quote
November 24, 2017Melissa Coupe
www.skinbymelissacoupe.co.uk
Quote 5

Great service and a quick response. Priority Pixels never leave you hanging and the service is top notch.

Quote
November 25, 2017Stephen Taylor
stephentaylorpsychotherapy.co.uk
Quote 5

The Priority Pixels team have been great to work with. They took our original ideas, gave us great advice and guidance and developed a website we are very happy with.

Quote
October 23, 2017Chris Parmenter, Nexant
training.nexant.com
Quote 5

Priority Pixels have been an excellent asset in helping us with our website and Google AdWords. They are highly communicative, they provide us with excellent advice, and are always on hand when we need them.

Quote
October 12, 2017Beccy Price, Ventro Group
www.ventrogroup.com
Quote 5

Priority Pixels have designed and built the Lazy Bones Fitness logo, website and social media platforms and I am one thousand times more impressed than I thought I would be with the end result!

The team at Priority Pixels have, at every stage, gone above and beyond in ensuring I was getting what I wanted on all aspects.

Quote
September 6, 2017Tom Mole, Lazy Bones Fitness
www.lazybones.fitness
Quote 5

Really happy with the service we received from Priority Pixels! Really helpful, efficient and great to work with!

Quote
May 10, 2017Julia Burnett, Homefinders
www.homefindersdevon.co.uk
Quote 5

We have had nothing but complements about our website and I can't recommend Priority Pixels enough. With their 5 star customer service combined with amazing talent you are going to be nothing but happy with your website and on going advice. Thanks again for a great website guys!

Quote
May 9, 2017Kimberley Burns, The Hair Room
www.thehairroomplymouth.co.uk
Quote 5

I can’t praise Priority Pixels highly enough and have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone who wants a professional website. In fact, we have already asked them to start work on redesigning our other website next month! I think that probably says it all!

Quote
July 22, 2016Barbara Westlake, Sologroom
www.sologroom.com
Quote 5

Priority Pixels have done various work for me over a four year period. Ive always been delighted with the service. Response times are always excellent, correspondence courteous and foremost the work is exemplary. I would strongly recommend their services.

Quote
August 3, 2016Jaime Clifton, J.Clifton Plumbing & Heating
www.gasandplumbingplymouth.co.uk
Quote 5

Superb personal support at an excellent price from Priority Pixels. Constant advice given when discussing content and formats, with a superb resulting website which is very professional, modern and attractive. The site has already brought many new contacts and lots of praise. I cannot recommend this company highly enough.

Quote
August 11, 2016Joan Veale, Marldon Church
www.marldonchurch.co.uk
Quote 5

I wanted a website that was to improve my business and reflect what we had to offer. They did just that and more. Pricing was fantastic and so was the service. Highly recommend. Thanks for all your help and support.

Quote
August 3, 2016Paul Savva, Savs Barbers
www.savsbarbers.co.uk
Quote 5

We have been working with Priority Pixels for three years and during that time we have successfully launched and developed our website. Priority Pixels was in at the start and initially constructed our website and subsequently has helped to develop it with more and better features. They have always been on hand to answer queries and provide general support which we greatly appreciate.

Quote
August 16, 2016David Bell, Living with Schizophrenia
www.livingwithschizophreniauk.org
Quote 5

Once the website was launched and live, I had no hesitation in retaining Priority Pixel's on a monthly retainer to continue to 'work behind the scenes' to support me with the ongoing, updating and maintaining of the website so it continues to perform at its optimum level.

Quote
August 3, 2016Claire Doyle, Doggy Devon
www.doggydevon.co.uk
Quote 5

Priority Pixels have been patient, supportive and incredibly helpful. It is a complex site with many pages but they have made it as simple and user-friendly as possible. We're already seeing a rise in engagement.

Quote
October 21, 2016Holly Rogers, Forest of Dean Stone Firms
www.fodstone.co.uk
Quote 5

I have found Priority Pixels to be very helpful. They are efficient and also a pleasure to deal with. Highly recommended.

Quote
April 4, 2017Donna Stevens, PIB Marketing
www.pibmarketing.co.uk
Quote 5

The Priority Pixels team really know their stuff and helped me on a lot of web and SEO issues. Enthusiastic and great service from the whole team. I wouldn't have any issues recommending them to any business, from start-ups to established corporates.

Quote
April 3, 2017Graeme Piper
www.dropcapcopy.com
Quote 5

Have worked closely with this company on a number of projects and have never been disappointed. Superb design work and technical knowledge make them an excellent choice for all digital media solutions.

Quote
January 4, 2017Ben Knight
www.high5sportscamps.co.uk

Web Design

Powered by Google Rated 5/5 based on 18 reviews. 18Write a review
NHS Nexant Epwin Group Shine for Women We are Macmillan Cancer Support National Trust Gainsborough Healthcare Group Castles Estates Agents Forst of Dean Stone Firms Limited Lewis College