What is the Google sandbox theory? The Sandbox theory, or Sandbox effect as it has become known in the SEO world, is a dampening filter that is applied to new websites. It usually lasts for between two and six months from the site's launch date, (although it can be more than double that length of time for websites in the financial sector). It's not unusual for a new website to enter the SERPs (search engine results pages), for a couple of weeks and then drop out of the search engine rankings completely, so if it happens to your new website - don't panic!
Google Sandbox Theory - Does the filter really exist?
The Google Sandbox seems to be particularly apparent when a website's keyword phrases are fairly high profile and difficult to optimize for, such as playstation games, mortgages, personal loans, search engine optimization, credit cards, SEO, etc. Although the sandbox effect is more obvious on website with products and services with high searched for keyphrases, it seems that most sites appear to suffer from the Sandbox effect, to some extent, irrespective of the keywords or the number and quality of incoming links from other websites. Although the Google sandbox effect is merely a theory, it is a theory that 75% of webmasters and search engine optimization professionals believe is a filter in the Google algorithm.
The sandbox filter would appear to be designed to discourage spam websites, short term websites and to put short term link renters out of business.
My own Sandbox theory is that Google are not be merely sandboxing complete new sites, but that they employing several filters, within the Google algorithm, that take into account the type of site, the age of the site, the age of the links coming to the site, the range of internet hosting companies that are holding the incoming links, the PageRank, link text and page content of the incoming links and possibly even the title of the page that the links are coming from.
Prepare for Leaving the Sandbox
If the sandboxing is effecting your website, don't just sit back and complain. The effect of the Sandbox filter will reduce in time and in the meantime, you should be working on your website to ensure that when you are out of the sandbox, your website is optimised and ready to feature high in the SERPs.
If you have any questions regarding this sandbox theory article, or would like to discuss how Kenkai can help to optimize your website, please don't hesitate to complete our contact form or send us an email and one of our staff will contact you within 24 hours.