At LinkAdage [ http://www.linkadage.com ] we get many questions on the Google sandbox. Here is a Q & A we've put together:
Q – How do I know if I am in the sandbox?
A – If your site is indexed by Google yet you do not rank in the top 1,000 for any of your main keywords, you are in the sandbox.
Q – Are there ways to avoid the sandbox?
A – The only sure way to avoid the sandbox: Buy an existing site in your category that is not in the sandbox and slowly change the content and add new inbound links to the site to make it your own.
Q – Too late to buy a new site, I am in the sandbox, how do I get out?
A – Add new content and links to your site each month until you get out in 6 to 18 months. While you are waiting, if the ROI is there, buy PPC ads.
Q – How does the sandbox algorithm work?
A – No one really knows for sure but here are the two main theories:
** Links pointing to your site gain more value the longer they are pointed at your site. Therefore, since new sites will only have new links, they will be in the sandbox by default while their links “age”.
** After a site is first indexed by Google a sandbox clock is triggered. Variables like content update frequency, site category, and quality of links pointing to your site will change the length of time you are in the sandbox.
Q – Will it help if I use a domain that I registered before the sandbox effect started?
A – No. It’s not when the domain was registered, it is when your site first gets indexed that’s important.
Q – Any other Sandbox tips?
A – Yes, if you have a bunch of website ideas that you may implement one day in the future, get the domain up and running today. Create a few pages of content, point a few permanent links to it and forget about it.
Then when you decide to work on your new idea two years from now you’ll have an established, indexed domain that is not in the sandbox to work with. If you decide you don’t have the time to mess with your website idea, sell the website. Indexed non-sandboxed sites have a lot of value to people who understand their real worth.