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9th Apr 2012
Google Sandbox – Prevention, Symptoms and Recovery

Google Sandbox is one of the debatable issue in SEO community. The word has been used in the industry since quite a long time but still it’s ambiguous. So this article is written purely based on our past experiences and assumptions.

Google Sandbox appears to be a sort of restriction which has been placed by Google over the new websites, where it seems to lower the rank of these sites (for popular keywords) by placing them into what is known as a Sandbox. It is similar to a new website being placed under probation period, in order to help avoid spam sites and search engine optimizers from manipulating the Google’s rankings in inappropriate ways. The spam sites many times tend to use unethical ways to rise up quickly and gain high sales before being banned and repeating the process, which is why the sandbox has been introduced. It also appears to be applicable if the content is of good quality, besides several inbound links as well.

Which sites are generally placed in the Sandbox?

There is no particular category of sites which are placed in the Sandbox, it could be of any type, but it mostly appears for new websites who are seeking rankings for highly competitive keyword phrases. All sites are likely to be fall in the sandbox. But those sites seeking rankings for the keywords that are high in demand may remain the longest in the Sandbox.

What is the duration a site stays in the Sandbox?

Again, there is no definite time frame or duration for which a site remains in Sandbox, but generally it can vary from one to six months, with three to four months being the normal time duration. This appear to depend on competitiveness of the keywords, the less competitive ones might stay for a shorter time period than the higher competitive ones.

How do you know if a site is included in Google Sandbox?

This question does not seem to have a one set solution, it comes under assuming, below mentioned are few.

  • One way to detect being sandboxed is when your site has great unique content, you carry out proper ethical SEO for it and yet it does not appear high in the rankings on Google.
  • Also, even after carrying out proper SEO, having high PR and incoming links, if your site tends to show up for secondary keywords and not the main ones, there could be a possibility of your site being sandboxed.
  • Moreover, there are also some tools which exist for checking if a website has been sandboxed which can help you to check if your site has been sandboxed. But I personally believe that these tools don’t give perfect results.

How do you get out of Google Sandbox?

  • Time appears to play a key role when trying to get out of the sandbox effect, besides the other efforts which one puts in to come out of it.
  • One should continue to carry out proper ethical SEO (not too much commenting or other inappropriate ways) with consistent on-page and off-page techniques.
  • Generating natural & quality inbound links can help in increasing trustworthyness in search engine and thus help in situation.
  • Constant updating (no copy and posting) your site with quality content, besides aiming to compete for keywords which are less popular to avoid it to an extent when your site is new.
  • When a site is being re-launched, one can try preventing the sandbox effect by redirecting the old pages to the new location, submitting the xml sitemaps for the site and examining whether there are any errors in pages which then needs redirecting.

How long does it take to rise up the rankings after leaving the Sandbox?

This requires a lot of aspects to be taken into consideration and cannot be exactly estimated, however, if you are carrying ethical SEO, getting natural backlinks from relevant sites and frequently adding quality content on the website can help climbing much sooner than expected. Again, the more competitive the keywords you are targeting, the more time it will take to climb.


An expert SEO consultant India possesses the required knowledge to understand and help prevent / climb the affects of Google Sandbox accurately.


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