Tips on Staying out of the Google Sandbox

The “sandbox, ” is a place where Google will often put newly created domains and websites that is like a probation period. Once in the sandbox, the website will not be listed on search engine results pages. In essence, the website will not exist on Google, which means that for all intents and purposes, the website barely exists at all.

1) Build Links the Right Way – Directories, social bookmarking, articles, and press releases are the only things I use on a new site. I never trade links until my website is strong enough to trade with quality, relevant websites. The link building should be steady and even. Submitting to 500 directories the week after a website is launched is an easy ticket into the sandbox, in my opinion. Build them slowly – 30 the first week, 50 each of the next two weeks, 75-100 per week after that. For SB sites, 1 a day is great. There are literally hundreds that are search engine friendly, so get them in there slowly. Include you link in press releases and articles at a good pace, 1-4 per month.

2) Adding Content Regularly – If you have 100 pages, reveal them to Google through internal linking and sitemap additions at a steady pace. Keep track f which pages are being indexed. Avoid duplicate content at all costs. If you have a blog (or if it is a blog), make sure you are posting at least twice a week at a steady pace. No scraping, no RSS feeds for the first few weeks after first getting indexed, and no worthless, keyword stuffed content. Make it good.

3) No Spamming – If you want your site sandboxed, plug it in to blog comments and forum signatures in bulk. Digg every page. Use black hat techniques. You’ll be sandboxed in a couple of weeks. Adding your links through forum signatures is not bad, especially if it’s in a relevant forum that can bring traffic. It should still be avoided in the infancy of a website, at least until the inbound link count is large enough that the sig-links are but a tiny portion.

4) Long Tail Shield – It is my belief that Google believes websites must work their way up a hierarchy. Using anchor text, go after several (dozens, even hundreds) of long-tail keywords. Establish you website there first, then move on to the broader, more competitive ones. If you are starting an automotive classified site with dealers nationwide, the natural tendency is to go after “Used Cars” or a similar keyword. It will take years. First, go after “Used Honda in Dallas” or “Miami Preowned Accord.” Once you do well there, move on to tougher searches like “Used Cars Oklahoma City”. Graduate to “Used Car Search”. You’ll notice one day after a few months (assuming the site is properly optimized) that you pop up #78 on “Used Cars”. That is when it is time to go after the prize.

There is no hard evidence that the sandbox is completely avoidable, no matter what tactics are used. Technically, there is no hard evidence that the sandbox exists.