Help, my website is in the Google Sandbox | SEO & Traffic
Very strange: a few weeks ago, I launched my new website Frankwalks.com. Of course I pulled out all the stops to get properly indexed by Google to make sure my pages are displayed in the search results. Now it appears that my site is indexed, but it has been placed in the Google Sandbox and was therefore not shown in the search results.
The Sandbox: a virtual waiting room
What is the Google Sandbox and why does Google place websites in it? The principle is very simple. Google has the opinion that new websites first must prove themselves before they get a (prominent) place in the search results. Google waits to see which way the cat jumps, so they place new sites in a kind of virtual waiting room: the Sandbox. I can’t blame them, it’s a way of not getting search results polluted with all sorts of sites that perhaps make a real mess in Google. Often it happens that the pages of your new website are first quite high in Google and then suddenly are no longer visible in the search results. Then Google did some closer inspection and placed your site in the Sandbox: let's see what kind of meat we have in the cockpit.
Hard evidence for Sandbox
Google has never admitted the existence of the Sandbox. But actually all SEO specialists say that the sandbox does exist. And now I have the hard evidence. Because I have written the following blog post on my new English-language website: http://www.frankwalks.com/item/how-to-rank-higher-in-google-tips-for-seo-popular-topic. The header and page title of this article are identical: HOW TO RANK HIGHER IN GOOGLE? | TIPS FOR SEO | POPULAR TOPIC
Which pages are indexed by Google?
Yesterday I investigated which pages at Frankwalks.com were indexed by Google already. You can do this by typing in Google: site: frankwalks.com. Hurray!!!: The above page was among the indexed pages. But when I searched in Google on the page title, my page did not emerge. Not on place 1, not on place 100, not on place 100,000. I checked this by placing parts of the page title in quotes so: "HOW TO RANK HIGHER IN GOOGLE?" "TIPS FOR SEO" "POPULAR TOPIC".
No goal in Google
For days this phrase gave no hit in Google. This proves that Google had placed this page in the Sandbox. And probably they placed my whole website in the Sandbox. Meanwhile, the situation changed: the page pops up in the Google search results, although it scores very low, while it is quite well optimized for search engines.
Can you escape from the Sandbox?
Can you do something about it? Damn little. There is also not much to worry about. After starting a new website, there is usually a period that your pages don't show up in Google. Simply continue to promote, develop and optimize your website, then all will be well in a while.
Discussion between Larry Page and Sergey Brin
I’m quite sure that Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google’s bosses, have personally taken care of indexing my site and putting me in the Sandbox. I think they had the following conversation:
Larry: “Heyyyy Sergey, how you’re doing? Did you see that new website of Frank, you know, the CEO of the populair Frankwandelt.nl? He now started Frankwalks.com.”
Sergey: “Hmmm Larry, saw it. Not a lot of content still, but let’s index him.”
Larry: “Agreed, but don’t put him too high in the Pagerank, ok? Let’s wait and see what his next move will be.”
Sergey: “Wowwww!!!!! Did you see Frank’s new post? The post about SEO and traffic building? What’s this guy up to? It’s supposed to be a site about hiking, not about SEO!”
Larry: “Let’s put that page in the <<bleeb>>, OK.”
Sergey: “Just did that, put it in the <<bleeb>>. That’ll teach him.”
Latest update: this page about Google's Sandbox was put in Google's Sandbox....