SEO and Forget It

Google's Sandbox - SEO

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It takes time to get out of Google's sandbox

In this "fast-food", "fast-paced", "broadband" era, many people don't realize that it takes time to get out of the sandbox before they can move up on the search engines.

I don't know if it is just the fast-paced time that we live in, or if people have just forgotten that patience is a virtue, but too many people believe they can move to the top of search engines in weeks. They take the "SEO and forget it" approach. (I can hear people out there saying, "Isn't search engine optimization (SEO) something you only have to do once. Once your site is optimized, you're done... RIGHT?") The answer is a resounding "no."

Although very elusive and not completely understood, many SEO experts believe that there is a "sandbox" for new websites that Google indexes. This "sandbox" is a time (normally 2-3 months after being first indexed) where a site isn't allowed to move to the top of the Google search engine (or if it is, it is quickly dropped down in rankings), even though the page might be completely optimized and have 10,000 backlinks. Some believe that there is damper placed on backlinks to new sites (which in turn causes a lower pagerank and a lower ranking). However, this is completely speculation.

Now, that doesn't mean that a page can't move quickly to the top of the search engines. For example, I have blogs that move very rapidly to the top of the search engines for certain keywords. However, I have had my site indexed for years now and am constantly adding new content. Google, Yahoo, and MSN have picked up on how frequently I update my site and in return come back to my site again and again for new content. But I still had to get my entire site "out of the sandbox" before any of this could happen.

Once out of the sandbox, you still aren't in the clear. You need SEO optimized pages to move up the rankings. You can check your optimization by checking tags like allinanchor, allintitle, and allintext to see how your optimization is coming. Next make sure that you have new content when the spiders come around to index your page. New content will entice the spiders to return more often and index your site faster. A great way to do this is with a well designed blog or article section. Finally, continue to work on backlinks.

Many people are beginning to argue that Google, MSN, and Yahoo are placing less and less emphasis on backlinks. While that might be true, the key is that backlinks are still important. Increasing your sites number of backlinks will help the search engines know just what keywords your page is about. Short, keyword based, text links are best for this. If you work on adding a couple of backlinks to your site every week, you will begin to see a vast improvement on your rankings.

Just recently I saw one of my sites "get out of the sandbox." It jumped almost 600% in hits from Google. The key to SEO is to keep on keeping on. Don't give up. If you keep at it and put in the time, you will be well rewarded for your effort.