Since 2004, there has been much debate regarding the Google “Sandbox Effect“. The “Sandbox Effect” refers to the way in which Google ranks the sites that it indexes. There are many different algorithms that Google uses when ranking sites. They two main factors that are under debate with the “Sandbox Effect” are the keywords that are used in links and the age of the site. Many people are confused about what is meant when someone says the age of a site. The date that the site is established does not determine the age of the site. The day that the site is indexed is the starting age for the site. A site could be five years old and have only been indexed a year ago. That would make the site a recognized site for only a year. The sites that have been around for many years are viewed by Google as being reputable sites. They consider the sites to be filled with valid information that someone will be able to use and can trust. A newer website is said to get lower rankings on the Google results page because of its age. This is part of the debate that comes with the “Sandbox Effect”.
The other key factor that is up for debate with the “Sandbox Effect” is the keywords that are used in linking. Many sites that are considered to be filled with SPAM will link to any site that they possibly can in an effort to move their site higher on the results pages. There are many site owners that own multiple sites that they will link together to make Google think that they have a great linking system. Google took the time to figure out when “linking SPAM” was taking place and will not identify those sites as being valuable resources for those searching for information.
It is important to note that there are ways to avoid the “Sandbox Effect”. If you take the time to link your sites to valid sites that are of similar topics as your site, Google will recognize the links. In addition, if you take the time to use keywords that are substantial and valid to your site, Google will rank your site higher than a site that has multiple keywords listed that have nothing to do with the information that is found on their site. Following an ethical path when it comes to your site is the best way to avoid the “Sandbox Effect” and rank high on Google’s search engine results pages.