Google Sandbox and Why Bloggers Must Know About It

If your domain is not showing up in Google search results, your domain might be “sandboxed”. So, what is Google sandbox and why you should care about it? This post will answer it all for you so let’s read on.

Is Google Sandbox really a myth?

There have been many articles online about this Google Sandbox topic and most of it agree that if you are referring to “sandbox” as a container which holds up new website inside, then this definitely doesn’t exist. However, if you are referring to sandbox as some lengthy of time when new website is put on hold before Google indexes it then it does really exists.

Google Sandbox has been referred as a myth because the hold time really depends on the age of the domain. Some bloggers may not aware of the existence of the sandbox because it just happens.

What is Google Sandbox?

So, what’s exactly is Google Sandbox by the way. On April 2003, Google made some algorithm changes to fight against the increasing number of spam sites in Google index. Everyone knows how Google loves fresh and original content, so this action must be taken for the sake of the online world. If your site is established after this day, you will notice it probably take longer to index than sites which are established before 2003.

Even Matt Cutts, famous Google engineer, also referred some clues about this Google Sandbox. He said that the Google algorithm may treat some new sites in a way that webmasters in a real world would refer to it as being sandboxed.

How long does the Google Sandbox last?

To my experience, Google sandbox often lasts up to 12 months. However, the delay in indexing doesn’t eliminate your link building effort. So while in the sandbox, your backlinks still count and when you’re out of the sandbox, those links will be contributed to determine your ranking position.

How can you check if you are in the sandbox?

The best way to check whether you are in the sandbox is type site: yourdomain.com

If you site doesn’t appear in the search engine result page although Google bot has came and crawled your page for few days, your site would probably be sandboxed.

How to escape from the Google Sandbox?

This is the topic that I care the most because obviously, you will lose large portion of traffic if you get sandboxed. Search engine like Google often contributes 50% to 70% all traffic in a month. So, I would be very sad if my domain doesn’t appear on the SERP although I have typed the whole thing in.

The general advice I receive for this is be patient. There’s nothing you can do about it. The aging delay can’t be taken off because that’s mechanism on how Google keep spamming site away from us. What you can do now is increasing building backlinks for your blog to get trusted. This can get you off the sandbox faster. Otherwise, just purchase the new domain name if your current one is sandboxed and do the site transfer. I hope everything is going better for you.

What do you think?

Have you every been sandboxed? What did you do? What is your experience?

12 Comments

  1. Nice article Mike. I have been building lots of websites but have never experienced being “sandboxed” by Google. Do you know what you need to do in order to become sandboxed? Or what kind of behaviour you need to show in order to become sandboxed?

    • Thanks for the comment Julius. Honestly, I’ve never experience being “sandboxed” either until recently when I have chance to research why my old domain name eblogcamp.com doesn’t appear on the google search engine and I think all the bloggers must know about this.

      Sandbox only applies for a new domain. If you do site:yourdomain.com and your domain doesn’t appear on the SERP and it’s new domain, you probably has been sandboxed.

      There are also several other reasons for a site not display on google serp include being banned from search engine, filtered, etc and I will cover more in details in some of the next post. You would be pretty amazed with what I have found out on this topic.

  2. Never heard of something like Google sand box in this context. Thanks for sharing the information. But i think sandboxing method by Google has been perfected yet because a lot of spamming sites are also still showing up in the search results.

    • That’s why people call it a myth because hardly you’ll notice it :)

  3. I got sandboxed for a while but now my domain is there on google, I still have to work on some SEO though for the keywords I want to rank higher for..

    • Not only SEO, Will, but also link building and most importantly, your article quality because in the long term, that’s the most important factor which will attract readers to come for a very long time :)

  4. Many said that it’s just a myth. But better be more careful =)

    • Yeah I agree. Better next time I will check carefully before deciding to open a new website :)

  5. hello mike. Great article regarding sandbox. it’s real and I know some sites who already got sandboxed. it’s great to find more infos about it other than wiki.

    anyway, How do we avoid being google sandboxed?

    • Hi Elie,

      Great to see you around here :) One way to make sure that your domain not being sandboxed is check with Google. Do the command site:yourdomain.com and if your domain appear, it’s good. Don’t make a mistake between being sandboxed and being penalized. They have the same “symptom”. When you site is sandboxed or penalized, you don’t appear in the SERP. However, they’re caused by totally different things :)