Every new website is subject to the Google sandbox, otherwise known as age delaying. The sandbox is the virtual place Google puts new websites before it deems them eligible for decent search rankings. Although this age delay varies from site to site, on average new websites with new domains must wait six months before they will be allowed into Google’s coveted Top Positions club.
While it can be frustrating, there is a very good reason for the existence of the sandbox. Google has adopted this procedure as a way of sorting out good quality websites from those that employ blackhat practices like link buying, duplicate content, and keyword stuffing. This new site probation period ensures that such practices will not be tolerated.
Since you cannot avoid placement in Google’s sandbox, we’ve put together some tips you can follow to help minimize the damage to your new website with a new domain. While there are several unethical methods in use, we list only ethical advice that complies with the policies of Google and the other search engines.
Create valuable content and good links. Along with the passage of time, nothing can help you reach the top of the major search engines better than quality website content and good links from reputable sources. Make sure your website copy is original and informative, and that each page of your site contains different content. In addition, a slow and steady buildup of good links will bring you the best results. Links from .edu, .gov, and .mil domains might be beneficial, as those domains are usually exempt from the sandbox filter.
Launch website pages as they are created. Rather than waiting until your entire website is complete before launching, it is better to make a couple of pages live first and add to your site as you go along. These will set the time clock in motion, resulting in your site being further along in the waiting period as it is developed.
Buy old or expired domains. Since the sandbox effect has a greater bearing on new sites on new domains, you may want to consider buying an old or expired domain and launch your site there.
Focus on less popular keywords. You might avoid being sent to the sandbox by peppering your website with keywords that are less popular in your industry or category. Since the popular keywords are the ones most people strive for, the wait for rankings with these words is generally much longer than it would be if you focused on the less popular keywords. You can simultaneously get your site listed for less popular keywords while waiting to get to the top for the most profitable keywords.
Don’t forget about the other search engines! While Google may be the most popular, there are other search engines out there that either do not have a sandbox, or that penalize new sites for a much shorter time. So do your research and plan your SEO efforts to include other search engines as well.
Wait patiently. By following the advice above and waiting patiently for time to pass, you’ll be well on your way to escaping the confines of Google’s sandbox. Be sure to avoid any attempts to fool Google. So-called “sandbox tools” will not only keep you from bypassing the filter, but they can only make your situation worse.
For more information on Search Engine Strategies, call us at 1-800-978-3417 or Contact Active Web Group and let us help you!