Sites are not as quick to rank as they were before. Not only that, but if you’re just starting to build backlinks to your site, you may actually be seeing drops in your ranking. What you’re seeing in the search engines may be scary and downright discouraging. So what’s the deal here?
If you’ve kept up with some of the SEO world, the termed name for this is the “Google Sandbox”. Google has had a sandbox period for quite some time. Usually this lasted around 30 days. After this time, you would start seeing some gains in your rankings. However, this is no longer the case.
Many niche site builders are seeing their sites do a lengthy dance in the search engines. They begin backlinking and nothing happens. Then right around month 2, the sites begin to bounce around and sometimes they disappear completely from the searches for a few days.
Even if you’re using the powerful Private Blog Networks (PBNs), that everyone (including myself) raves about, you’ll still see your rankings bounce and tank for a while.
Many wannabee SEOs are jumping ship, saying that the PBNs no longer work…
Well, if you’re one of those people, then take a deep breath and before you go thinking that your backlinks are at fault, listen up.
Effect of the Google Sandbox
From my experience and the experience of other SEOs, the “Google Sandbox” only seems to have affected the time it takes to rank. Google is now putting a little more weight on the age of a site. Instead of taking 2-3 months for a site to rank, sites are now taking 4-5.
If you’re currently working on a site right now and you’re site is 2-3 months of age, you might be seeing something like this:
If this is true for you, you’re best bet may be to stay the course. If all other aspect of your site are up to par (keyword research, on-page optimization, etc), then you’re just a month or 2 from being in the money.
Flash TIP: If you want to build a new site and cash in on Christmas Sales, then I suggest you get started on your site now.
Bypassing the Google Sandbox
Right now there are only a few ways that you can bypass the sandbox:
- Build your new keywords on a page of an aged site you own – In this scenario, all you have to do is build the pages as you would if you were trying to rank a new site, but do it within an aged site that you already own. As long as that site doesn’t have a site-wide penalty, you should be in the clear.
- Buy/Acquire an aged site and build your pages on it – Similar to the scenario above, but if you don’t already own an aged site related to your niche, then buy one.
- Get a recently expired domain and build your pages on it – For this, just find a domain that is related to your niche, or a domain with an ambiguous brand name and build your site on it. Simple.
Take Away Message
If you’re the type of person who is looking to make quick cash, then building niche sites will appear more out of the ballpark than they were before. Unless you use one of the bypassing methods that I mentioned above, don’t expect any return until months 4 or 5.
SEO is not an easy business, but if you put in the research, investment, and hard work it can be well worth it.
All the best,