Up the Sandbox!
by Keith Thompson
Go to any internet marketing forum you want these days and
one of the topics is sure to be whether or not there is a
"sandbox" at Google where new sites are forced to come and
play for 3-6 months before joining the ranks of ranked and
searched results. On the surface it would appear that this
is so. New sites are typically taking a long time to get
indexed and even longer to show up in the search results.
So hence, the sandbox theory. Let's examine some possible
reasons and more importantly, our reaction to it.
The most obvious possibility, (since no one outside of
Google really knows) is that because of the proliferation
of spam on the engines, Google is checking all the links to
these new sites. Sometimes a new site will appear sporting
thousands of backlinks, and this takes some time to check,
even given a rolling schedule of indexing by that pesky
spider! Google it seems is serious about link farms, and
anything that smacks of that may take some time to get
indexed. But then, so will most other sites. It is a very
large index, (some say nearing capacity, though I doubt
that will turn out to be true) and it is a gargantuan task
to keep it current and free of extraneous (read poor)
search results. There are other ideas out there, and
conspiracy theories abound, one being that it is an evil
plot to force newer sites in search of traffic to resort to
paying for Google Adwords. Uh-huh. A particularly amusing
thread is currently taking place at the High Rankings
forum, a must-read for all conspiracy theorists!
Since we don't know, can't know, will not know for sure
until the Google Gods unlock the keys to the kingdom and
enlighten us; it only makes sense to this webmaster to get
on with life. I've got new sites waiting, as do many. We
all languish at PR0 until (or if) there's another update.
Some sites get picked up quicker than others, and to some
extent that is a measure of SEO. However just get over it!
Since there's nothing concrete we can do except build great
content sites with lots of relevant links (legitimate) why
worry about any sandbox?!? Don't get your knickers in a
knot! Write more content, articles, and get more sites to
link to you because of the worth of your site. There are
other sources of traffic, go get them! Do the right
thing for your business. Spend time on it, not worrying
Many of the leading voices in SEO agree that there may
indeed be a "sandbox", and if there is, that may not
necessarily be a bad thing. You don't want some farmer
(link) ranking ahead of your carefully crafted content
site, do you? Of course not! One thing is sure: if there is
a sandbox, it belongs to Google and if you want to play,
follow the rules and don't cry! Pay or play!
Copyright (c)2004 Keith Thompson
Keith can be reached at email@example.com
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