One of the favorite things for people in the make money online and SEO worlds is to argue over theoretical concepts like “what is the best type of link?” or “how important is getting links from different c-class IPs?”. There are countless concepts out there like this, but few catch the attention of people like the google sandbox effect. Some people don’t believe it exists. Some people are so afraid of it that by the time someones site gets out of the sandbox they are getting their third link and are still on page 20 of the SERPs.
Ok so I’m getting a little ahead of myself I guess. First things first, the google sandbox effect is a phenomena where a site climbs in the SERPs too quickly and subsequently is applied a temporary penalty. The penalty can last anywhere from a couple of months to nine or more. A site that is seemingly going strong, climbing up towards a magical page one ranking, flies too close to the sun and gets knocked down a peg.
So what exactly gets a site relegated to the dreaded depths of the sandbox? Well this is where the debate truly heats up. We all know that the basic thing that happens is a quick climb followed by an even quicker fall, but there is more to it than that. A lot of people think that getting only strong links (in content, from high page rank, and high trust rank pages) will keep you out of the box. Others think the key is building links very slow and steady, not setting off any red flags. To be truthful I don’t have the answer to this question, but one can take a good lesson here anyway. Build your links naturally, which means slowly and from a wide range of quality sites.
Another thing to think about is why does google even have the sandbox? Well that isn’t too complicated to figure out, and since google is logical it also seems to be result that supports the theory. Google has the sandbox to, like everything they do, fight spam. Think about it, spammers are generally into sites for the short haul, the quick buck. When they run the risk of google slapping their sites down it deters them from building in the first place because unlike those of us who build a passive income they want a site to pay off short term.
A final question that is interesting to consider, and probably more useful is what to do if you think you are in the sandbox. The answer there is simple in the MMO world, keep building links. That’s all you need to do if you find yourself in the sandbox, or just in the midst of a normal shuffle. Don’t complicate things unless you’re just looking for some good mental exercise.
Oh and if you want to see the sandbox effect in action here is a good image of my site when it went in for NINE MONTHS! I kept working on this baby thought the rough times and it paid off well. Keep working.