The Complete Idiot's Guide

Growing Your Business With Google
By Dave Taylor

Stuck in the Google sandbox or delisted?

I've been running my new weblog -- -- for a few months now and as far as I can tell Google still hasn't stopped by to visit my site or index me. I've heard about something called a "sandbox" but I don't know what that is and whether I'm in it. If I am, how do I get out of it? If not, why else might I be missing from Google?

First off, let's start out with a definition. The sandbox is where Google puts new Web sites for anywhere from a week to three months or longer. The intent is to avoid having new sites pop up out of nowhere to be top o' the page results for a specific search. It's one way that Google maximizes the quality of its SERP (search engine result pages).

For people building a new site, however, this is a real drag. Buy a domain name, build a nice site, get a bunch of inbound links from other sites, and you could still be "stuck in the sandbox" for months, waiting to gain a good position in the search results.

Further, I have a niggling suspicion that your stay in the sandbox might be longer than normal because of the space that you're in. No proof, but I just wonder if Google doesn't leave people in the sandbox for longer if the site is focused on topics that are commonly considered "spammy".

It's also curious that a search on Google for returns no results at all, which suggests that either Google's never visited your blog or that there's a problem that has caused Google to delist you from its database.

Any of the following could be hurting you significantly:

• hidden text or hidden links.
• cloaking or sneaky redirects.
• sending automated queries to Google.
• loading pages with irrelevant words.
• creating multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
• doorway pages created just for search engines.

If you are in the sandbox, well, as far as I know, there's really nothing you can do to speed up your escape. Just keep plugging away writing blog entries, and know that sooner or later you'll be on the other side of that wall.

If you have been delisted from Google, however, then you need to figure out why that's happened, fix it, then find someone at Google you can talk to so you can have them reevaluate your site and hopefully relist you in the database. Start that process by exploring their information on pages vanishing from Google. Good luck if that is indeed the problem.

You might also want to read this related article: Paid for SEO, still have PageRank 0?

Good luck!

Category: Google Q&A   (Article #4712)

We have set up and certainly seem to be experiencing a Sandbox effect. The initial feeling was that it was unfair. However, it has forced us to work hard to build web traffic in other ways and we have been forced to improve the quality of our site before demand cuts in.

It is an interesting phenomenon and we understand the need for google to ensure high quality search results. Our business set up budget has risen by about 25% as a consequence, but the Sandbox has forced us to produce a higher quality product and work far harder to make the internet work for us.

From someone feeling aggrieved, I have almost become a fan. I said almost, because we still feel it presents a bit of a hurdle and protects some mainstream agencies from the heat of competition.

In the long run, if the sandbox effect proves a barrier to high, the business does not deserve to succeed. We are still in the sandbox so this is brave talk, but it is true.

Posted by: charles cawley at May 11, 2010 4:08 AM

I do have a comment, now that you mention it!

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Growing Your Business with Google
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Growing Your Business
Inside The Book
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Search Engine News
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Google Q&A
AdSense moving to video ads?
Should I integrate AdSense in my site design?
Does domain name affect search engine ranking?
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Stuck in the Google sandbox or delisted?
Coming soon: Google Shopping?
Can I add new Web sites to my Google AdSense account?
How to read Google AdSense reports
Can I have AdSense and other Ads on my site simultaneously?
Does AdSense for Search pay less than AdSense for Content?
How do I target AdWords to specific Web sites?
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Google AdSense adds "Advertise on this site"?
Exactly what does Google PageRank mean?
Does Googlebot visit more often because of my blog?
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Why Text Links are Better than Graphic Links
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Paid for SEO but I still have PageRank 0?

Growing Your Business
Welcome, Entrepreneur!
Join me in Chicago for the System Seminar and learn even more about Internet marketing
Learn about business writing with a free ebook
Announcing the Growing Your Business with Google workshop!
How to Get Started with Google AdSense
How quickly should companies respond to customer email?
LinkedIn + BusinessWeek poll = connection spam?
Tips for getting more traffic to your blog
Search Engine Friendly, or Easy Navigation?
The Table of Contents

Inside The Book
Foreword, by Guy Kawasaki
Introduction to the Book
Increasing Your Business Visibility (chapter 1)
The Benefits of Increasing Your Visibility (Chapter 2)
What Is Google Anyway? (Chapter 3)
Learning about Google Search (Chapter 4)
Disassembling the Google Search Engine (Chapter 5)
What's Your Core Business? (Chapter 6)
Living in an Online World (Chapter 7)
Your Business Website (Chapter 8)
Assessing Your Competitors (Chapter 9)
Keeping Track of Customers (Chapter 10)
The Basics of Building A Good Business Site (Chapter 11)
Developing Online and Offline Content (Chapter 12)
Stretching Your Marketing Dollars (Chapter 13)
Secrets of the Online Marketing Masters (Chapter 14)
Content, Content, Content! (Chapter 15)
Becoming a More Popular Site (Chapter 16)
Becoming an Online Expert (Chapter 17)
Advertising Your Business with Google AdWords (Chapter 18)
Making Money with Google AdSense (Chapter 19)
The Advantages of Affiliate Programs (Chapter 20)
Avoiding Dumb Online Promotional Mistakes (Chapter 21)
Growing and Expanding Your Content (Chapter 22)
The Future of Findability (Chapter 23)

Reviews and Testimonials
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Initial "Growing Your Business with Google" Press Release

Search Engine News
Google Friends Newsletter, Sept 2008
Bill Gates: The Age of Software-Powered Communications
Google Friends Newsletter - April 2007
Beta announcement of Google AdSense Referrals
Enabling Secure Anywhere Access in a Connected World
Google Friends Newsletter
Google Launches Hosted Communications Services
AdWords now has fraud analysis accessible to advertisers
Google doesn't support click fraud. But isn't that obvious?
Welcome to Google's online payment system, Google Checkout
Google now offers Ad Scheduling for AdWords
AdSense click fraud done by robots?
AdSense: Google's Hidden Payroll
Fun new Google service: Movie info
Google agrees to pay $90 mln in click fraud suit
Latest news from Google: Google Friends Newsletter
Nofollow: Another salvo in the Spam Wars
Google Toolbar Gets Personal
Yahoo Search redesign scheduled?
Note from the Google AdSense Team
What's the future of Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising?
New Google AdWords Keyword System Released

Updates for Readers
Blogging for Search Engine Results
Why does advertising site Chitika audit commission payments?
Google Adsense Update: Section Targeting
Understanding "link:" results (book errata)

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