The Google Sandbox is a term applied to phenomenon experienced by many new websites that delays sites inclusion within main Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) of Google. Often new websites can find themselves confined to 'Sandbox' for 6-9 months, during which time traffic to site is severely compromised. The Google Sandbox is therefore usually seen as a frustrating inevitability by webmasters and one for which there is no quick easy solution.
My recent observations however have led me to believe that time your website spends in Google Sandbox should be seen as a golden opportunity rather than a frustrating inevitability.
Many webmasters respond to their websites confinement to Sandbox by spending endless hours forever checking listings in Googles results pages for any sign of their website. Not only is this a waste of precious time but also serves only to increase frustration caused by Sandbox. Other webmasters more sensibly focus their time and effort improving Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of their website in order to improve its rankings within other search engines such as MSN, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and others. Although these may not be as widely used as Google search engine, they don't have same aging delay of Sandbox that Google does. Therefore, achieving good listings in these search engines early in a websites life can at least generate some traffic and hopefully some sales whilst confined to Sandbox.
Earlier this year Tsunami disaster in Asia forced me to change name of my web development business from Tsunami-Site-Design to Pixelwave Design. I had to register a new domain name, build a new website and start from scratch with my web promotion. The new site was an ideal candidate for confinement to Google Sandbox, and sure enough after an initial day or two of good rankings new site couldn't be found in a Google search for any of my keywords. A search for business name did bring new site up in first place though so I was safe in knowledge that my site was contained within Google database but lack of inclusion for my keywords suggested that my site had been confined to Sandbox. The inclusion of my own personal site within Google Sandbox gave me a great opportunity to monitor and track its progress.
The first thing I noticed was high frequency with which a Googlebot spidered pages of my site. The Googlebots were visiting a few times everyday and visiting all pages of site. It struck me that if Google had gone to trouble of writing and implementing 'Sandbox' filter as part of their algorithm and regularly spidering sites within Sandbox then Sandbox wasn't simply an area into which new sites get put in order to delay their inclusion in SERPS. Instead it can be considered as a probationary period for new websites during which Google pays close attention to sites development.
This means that as far as Google is concerned, your websites time in Sandbox may well be one of most important times in its development. Rather than seeing this time as a frustrating inevitability you should see it as an opportunity to really show Google how your website can shine. The Google Sandbox should be a time to make most of all attention your site is getting from Google and show search engine what it wants to see.
The Steps to Success
Now that we have decided that Google is actually paying your site a good deal of attention whilst it is in Sandbox it is time to see how we can make most of this Golden Opportunity.