If your website is new, you will most likely struggle to achieve top rankings in Google’s SERPs. Despite your best efforts and the construction of an SEO-optimized site, you are not reaching the top spots—or even the first couple of pages. If you’re in this situation, you’ve most likely been impacted by Google’s Sandbox.

Google Sandbox is a fictitious effect that primarily affects new websites. New websites are “trapped” in the Sandbox and must go through probation before receiving the desired traffic and clicks. Google appears to filter out newer websites from rankings, favoring older sites with greater long-term authority. While most SEO experts agree on this, Google officials deny the existence of the Google Sandbox, despite ranking comparisons between Google, Bing, and Yahoo revealing that the same sites earn lower rank positions on Google than on other search engine sites.

So, if Google did not launch a Sandbox algorithm, what is causing new sites to remain at the bottom of search results?

Why Does Sandbox Occur?

There are numerous theories as to why the Google Sandbox exists, ranging from combating spammers and their websites to the dangers of Google’s machine-learning algorithms. It most likely began as the former but has since evolved into the latter. Despite Google’s denial of an official Sandbox algorithm, John Mueller shares his thoughts in a Google Webmaster Central office hour hangout:

He points out that when new websites are launched, Google must evaluate them and decide where to place them. Google looks for ranking signals to determine where to place the site. When a site is new, it frequently lacks the ranking signals needed to achieve the desired SERPs rank.

Google ranks websites based on several factors, including:

  • The site’s authority
  • Effective link building
  • Relevant content
  • SEO technical optimization

Many ranking factors play a role in a site’s overall SEO strategy. Any SEO expert will tell you that site optimization does not happen overnight. Site trust and authority, as well as other SEO factors, necessitate a long-term investment. Unfortunately, new websites have not had enough time to accumulate these ranking factors.

Because young sites lack the ranking factors required to rank at the top of Google’s SERPs, they lack the ranking power of older, established sites. And, while Google hasn’t released an algorithm that affects new sites in this way, there is a disparity in rankings for sites of varying ages, even when they have the same high-level content and SEO optimization.

Proven Methods for Getting Out of the Sandbox Faster

You can get out of the sandbox by taking practical and effective steps. Of course, your site will not be affected indefinitely, but you can speed up the process by following our advice below. 

Get Indexed

The first step towards getting out of the Sandbox is ensuring that Google indexes your site. You cannot achieve the desired rankings if Google has not crawled your site. If your website is not appearing in Google Search, Google provides troubleshooting instructions. In addition, by submitting a sitemap and index request, you can improve your site’s crawl ability.

Boost User Traffic

Increasing audience engagement aids in lessening the impact of Sandbox. Earning organic traffic tells Google that your site is legitimate, relevant, and deserving of high rankings. Implementing effective SEO practices assists users in finding your site, increasing traffic and Google’s perception of the usefulness of your site. Traditional marketing, sponsorships, and paid media can all be used to accomplish this.

Profit from Social Signals

There is still hope if your site isn’t ranking and you can’t seem to shake the effects of Google’s Sandbox. Use social media to legitimize your site and gain valuable traffic that will help your rank in the SERPs.

Active social channels enable you to engage your audience, run advertisements, and build links to your website.

Increase Site Authority

Google ranks websites according to their E-A-T score. Expertise, authority, and trust are abbreviated as E.A.T. This score assesses a site’s legitimacy and ranking power and may be the most influential ranking factor for your site. If your site demonstrates expertise, authority, and trust, Google will remove your domain from the Sandbox and allow you to earn the rankings you deserve. E-A-T scores enable you to rank highly in Google search results while also providing an exceptional user experience to site visitors. Increasing your E-A-T signals fosters excellence while removing your site from the Sandbox.

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