According to a Google webmaster the Google Sandbox, “kind of disappeared sometime ago.” Before we can answer if the Google Sandbox is real, we should explain what it is. In March of 2004, webmasters began noticing that new sites were not ranking as highly as they should be. “The rankings were seen as poor despite good Google PageRanks, strong incoming link totals, and overall good optimization practices being employed.” This “probation period” that Google gave to new websites began to be called “Google’s sandbox”. Whether the Sandbox actually exists as its own filter or is merely a part of Google’s general algorithm is still highly disputed. However, no one disputes the effect of the Sandbox. Some webmasters claim that Google’s Sandbox is old news and not applicable to today’s search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, which I would have to disagree with.
We have seen first hand evidence that it does exist and is still in full force so to speak. SEOMoz.com published an article in March of 2009 where they tested a new site to see how it ranked on Google compared to Yahoo and MSN/Live. Since the Sandbox was a purely Google phenomenon if the effect was non existent, you would expect the site to rank comparably on all search engines. However the test showed that although the site ranked well according to Google’s PageRank and had many unique links to it proving it was a site full of useful content, it only ranked number fifty-five in Google and actually ranked number one in the other major search engines. Clearly, Google’s penalty Sandbox isn’t gone. The existence of Google’s Sandbox isn’t really the important issue however. If Google Sandbox exists and your site get put into it for a “time out” the solution is the same as if the Sandbox is simply a myth. Remember, quality SEO techniques such as useful, original content, keywords, and link building are the best way to increase your search engine ranking in any case, real or not.