What is the Google sandbox?
When a website is brand new, it doesn’t take long for the Google robots to find it and begin cataloging the pages. Although Google has learned about the site and has indexed its pages, it won’t show up when a search is performed. What’s believed to happen is that the website is held off to the side, out of the listings, in a sort of limbo. Google knows about the page and site, but doesn’t display them, and this is called being in Google’s sandbox.
Why does Google have this sandbox?
Google’s credibility and desirability as a search engine depend on its producing high quality results. One of the reasons for Google’s success is how easy its search engine is for people to use and quickly get to quality web pages that answer their questions. There may be millions of web pages that mention the capacity of modern freight trains, for example, but when someone performs a search for that information, the pages that Google thinks answer those questions best appear on the top of the list.
Google, to maintain its standards as a search engine, seems to have instituted the sandbox in 2004 as a way to avoid placing brand new websites on its results pages. While anyone can create a website loaded with keywords and link to it from many other websites, Google holds off on displaying the page until it has established its legitimacy. Trusted or established websites, therefore, are more likely to be displayed while your new website is nowhere to be found.
How can I tell if my website is in Google’s sandbox?
If you study your site’s visitor or activity statistics, you will see the Googlebot visiting your website. What you won’t see while your site is on “probation,” or in what’s called the Google sandbox, is your page showing up on Google’s results pages if you search for any of your page’s keywords. You can confirm that the Googlebot has successfully found and indexed your page by searching for the actual domain name, but while the home page of your site will show up, none of the interior ones will be listed.
How can I get my webpage out of the “sandbox” and onto the SERPs?
As of this time, there’s nothing you can do but wait. After what Google considers to be a reasonable time, about six to eight months, it feels that your site is trustworthy and will begin displaying results for all of your pages. Google has been indexing and cataloging your pages from the first time its robots visited, it just wasn’t displaying those results when someone searched.
When you examine your site’s activity logs, you’ll notice many robots visiting, and you should remember that MSN, Yahoo!, and other search engines do not appear to have a sandbox. While Google may immediately display your pages, other search engines will, and you should be able to find your site listed when you perform a search on Yahoo!, Ask.com, MSN, and other search engines.