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How To Shorten Your Stay In Google's Sandbox

Aug 23, 2008
If you are optimizing your new web site (or page from your already established web site) for a keyword that is in high demand, you are likely to experience Google's "Sandbox". The sandbox is Google's way of keeping new web sites and pages from ranking for competitive keywords. This "seasoning" period, as it were, is Google's way of making sure you are serious about your web site before it is promoted to a higher position. So how long do new sites have to stay in the sandbox? Anywhere from 6 to 12 months, and sometimes even longer than this!

How do I know that my site is in the sandbox? There are many different techniques and signals, and every SEO enthusiast will give you a new one. But the easiest way to know is this- If you have a web site that is optimized for a competitive keyword, and your listing is either non-existing for the keyword or is somewhere on page 10 or so in the results, your site is most likely in the sandbox.

Is there any way to get out early? There is one way to shorten your stay- inbound links to your site from authority sites, and the more the better. In a perfect world, inbound links from these kinds of sites would come naturally. But in the real world, most webmasters do not have web sites that authority sites naturally link to. So your "average Joe" webmaster needs a shortcut. This shortcut comes from well established web directories. Some of these directories are free, but in most cases these free directories take a very long time to get a listing in. The only reliable directories are almost always pay-per-inclusion. The amount you pay can be anywhere from $40-$240 or more, and some directories require a yearly inclusion fee.

How do I identify authority directories? There are too many web directories out there to count. Some are worth having your listing in, some are not worth the money paid for the domain they are on. There are two things that determine if a directory is worthwhile- age, and inbound link quality. Older, more established directories are trusted by the search engines and are preferred over new directories. The quality of a directories inbound links can also tell you if it is any good. If it's links are coming from authority sites, Google likely gives the directory more clout. In turn, some of this is passed on to the sites listed in it.

How fast? How quickly you exit the sandbox depends on the quality and quantity of these links. There is no known formula, but a site can easily get out of the sandbox in as little as 3 months, sometimes less with just a few inbound authority links.
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