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
Even after the site was featured in the industry's most
popular trade publication six weeks after the 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 the
Widget Corp's site was nowhere to be found in the first
two pages of listings.
Then he typed in the 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 the many web sites launched
after March 2004 that are experiencing the Google Sandbox
effect. While the existence of the Sandbox as a new site
filter is a subject of debate among search engine experts,
Google has reportedly all but admitted that the Sandbox
filter is real.
What exactly is the Google Sandbox?
According to Wayne Hurlbert, a contributor to Blog
Business World for successful entrepreneurs, the 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
With the onslaught of spam-related web sites coming
online, the Sandbox theoretically weeds out from results
pages those spammers who supplement weak content with
purchased links to garner high rankings and sales before
If a new web site has strong, relevant content, abundant
incoming links, favorable search results for secondary
keyword phrases and yet does not appear for the most
important searches, then it has probably been earmarked to
do its obligatory Sandbox time. Time in the Sandbox can
range from one to six months, but the average duration is
three to four months.
A site's duration in the Sandbox is directly proportionate
to the competitiveness of the keywords and key phrases it
targets. The more competitive the site's search terms, the
longer the site stays buried in the Sandbox.
While time is the only real solution to getting out of the
Sandbox, Hurlbert offers some helpful tips for making the
best out of the unavoidable:
1. Register a domain, set up hosting and publish a web
site prior to official launch time to start the clock
ticking on the Sandbox duration period
2. Continue to add as many incoming links as possible
3. Keep building relevant content to your site
4. Consider buying an already existing domain
Hurlbert claims that proper time management can help a
site avoid the Sandbox altogether. Even if you're not
ready to build a web site just yet, procure a domain name
and put up a splash page at the very least.
to get started today and avoid the Sandbox. Your widget
sales just might skyrocket.
Read Hurlbert's entire blog entry on the Sandbox here: http://blogbusinessworld.blogspot.com/2005/04/google-sandbox-theory-validated-by.html.
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