The Widget Corporation is a highly successful business that specializes in designing and manufacturing office widgets, namely customized stress balls and ergonomically designed footrests.
The owner Jason Widget collaborated with a web design company to create a beautiful web site with strong content, numerous incoming links, an online catalog and ordering system.
Even after site was featured in industry's most popular trade publication six weeks after site launch, Mr. Widget was confounded when he went to Google and searched for his web site using intuitive keyword combinations, including ''Widget Corporation,'' ''office widgets,'' ''custom stress balls,'' etc.
His searches kept yielding pages of results, but Widget Corp's site was nowhere to be found in first two pages of listings.
Then he typed in keyword combo ''ergonomic footrests,'' and his site popped up #1.
Mr. Widget's web site, although optimized well for search engines, is likely one of many web sites launched after March 2004 that are experiencing Google Sandbox effect. While existence of Sandbox as a new site filter is a subject of debate among search engine experts, Google has reportedly all but admitted that Sandbox filter is real.
What exactly is Google Sandbox?
According to Wayne Hurlbert, a contributor to Blog Business World for successful entrepreneurs, Sandbox ''is very similar to a new web site being placed on probation, and kept lower than expected in searches, prior to being given full value for its incoming links and content.''
With onslaught of spam-related web sites coming online, Sandbox theoretically weeds out from results pages those spammers who supplement weak content with purchased links to garner high rankings and sales before getting banned.