Let's forget about the whole debate over whether or not the sandbox exists. Only a few people would say it doesn't, so let's move on and talk about what to do if your site is stuck in the box. There are several ways to deal with the situation, and which ones you choose depends upon your individual situation.
First, there is the DaveN redirect solution which involves duping the content on an old domain and using a 301 redirect to the new site. I'm not sure this will work in all situations, but it may be worth a try.
Second, you can ignore the sandbox completely, and simply market the hell out of it, as Mike advocates. It may or may not actually help your rankings, but you'll get traffic from lots of other places, so you may not have to care about the sandbox. However, this will likely cost you a LOT of money, so this may not be feasible for everyone.
Third, is to find a way to generate lots of buzz around your site. There are many ways to accomplish this, but some include being controversial or funny, or by offering something new and worthy of acquiring lots of natural links, such as an awesome new free tool. This can be an effective way of busting right through the sandbox, but it usually requires some creativity. You'll need to think about how best to get the users (often bloggers) excited about whatever you have to offer, or whatever you have to say.
Fourth, and this is my preferred choice in many situations, is to target the long tail. The sandbox is far less likely to affect long tail terms. If you can bring in the users via hundreds or even thousands of less competitive, niche terms, then the fact that you don't rank for one or two big terms may not matter much. While you are catering to the long tail searchers, you are earning money (hopefully). By the time the sandbox period ends, you have already established a useful, revenue-generating site that will stand a good chance at pleasing the Google algo gods.
So let's move on and find ways to get users to your site. If you have original ideas for doing so, you could beat the sandbox, without having to ever debate whether or not the sandbox actually exists. 🙂
7 thoughts on “Dealing with the sandbox”
A relevant topic, for the vast vast majority of us (excepting a few stubborn folks).
One other thing is to get highly relevant backlinks that turn into conversions. Don’t just mass link…find quality backlinks.
For a different perspective I just looked back at traffic sources over the last few months. The aggregate volume of quality links (that convert) for my main business site approximated traffic volume from MSN (about 9% of SE traffic) (the site isn’t sandboxed- google drives most SE traffic).
So the quality highly relevant links essentially add about 8% to SE traffic. That is a significant number. These links convert. Possibly at a better rate than the SE’s (since the SE’s also drive lots of irrelevant traffic.) (I have to spend a lot of time re reviewing conversion numbers to give hard data).
Quality links placed well in other sites drive SE and other traffic to your site…with or without high serps.
Excellent points, Dave. One other thing I also forgot to mention is that some people are having luck with using other country .tlds rather than the standard .com, .net, etc.
Lots of national domains in EU are not sandboxed, i know for sure for croatian and couple countries around
Call me Mr. Stubborn but the only Google Sandbox is in Adwords
Sites need traffic to move up the rankings….one of the 100 parts to the algorithim….otherwise why recommend the 1,043rd site built for blue widgets???
My only question why are their so few other stubborn people who can see the light??
Because they are blinded by a light? 🙂 Google has already admitted to a sandbox effect that, though supposedly unintentional, still exists. So why argue?
Comments are closed.