In my recent post I mentioned that I was dissappointed because the individual article pages within this blog did not received any PageRank (PR) during the update that occurred in the last few days. The main page and category pages each received PR of between 2-4 which is a good start, but it’s the multitude of articles on this blog that I would like to see pulling ranking and showing up in Google SERPs.
One of the possible reasons why my pages haven’t been ranked is because of what is called the Google Sandbox, which is a relatively new theory in SEO. If you have recently launched a website and are frustrated because no matter how much effort you put into SEO your site still doesn’t show up in Google, then you could be being sandboxed. It doesn’t matter if you have hundreds of quality backlinks, a great navigational structure, hundreds of pages of original, keyword rich, content – it all means jack to the sandbox.
The somewhat mythical sandbox is a theory that has not been admitted to by anyone at Google but is largely accepted as a likely by the SEO community. It has been demonstrated to exist, or at least the symptoms have been shown to occur with enough frequency that a thoery was formed. Of course because this is Google with all those thousands of variables to consider we can never be 100% sure until someone at the search engine company puts us out of our misery and confirms it. That is not likely since Google instigated policies like this to stop people from abusing the search engine to obtain free traffic. The less the badies know the better.
Blog Business World has a great primer on the Google Sandbox. If you want to get a grasp of this concept I suggest you read the full primer, it should answer all of your questions.
Blog Business World: The Google Sandbox is an alleged filter placed on new websites. The result is a site does not receive good rankings for its most important keywords and keyword phrases. Even with good content, abundant incoming links and strong Google PageRank, a site is still adversely affected by the Sandbox effect. The Sandbox acts as a de facto probation for sites, possibly to discourage spam sites from rising quickly, getting banned, and repeating the process.
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