July 3, 2022
search engine sandbox

What’s the Search Engine Sandbox?

search engine sandboxOne digital phenomena our clients experience is their new sites being placed in the search sandbox. Our testing, as well as data from other credible sources, certainly lead us to the inescapable conclusion it exists.

New site owners get frustrated over the fact they put so much into their launch and more thereafter, only to see virtually no results. They find that having an internet presence isn’t as simple as publishing a new property. While that is unsettling, it’s the reality, and playing by the rules is paramount.

Unfortunately, the rules include a waiting period of sorts, but ironically, inaction is counterproductive. In other words, the sandbox is a place where newly launched sites are evaluated, which can be good news later on.

Understanding the Search Sandbox

So, what exactly is the sandbox and what’s it’s purpose? It exists because of logistics, because too many new sites are abandoned outright. The numbers are out there, though it’s exceptionally difficult to quantify such figures. Given the number of new domain registrations and new hosting plans activated occurring yearly and those which expire, some estimate between 25 percent and 30 percent stay active, while the majority go dormant.

Most new sites, especially blogs are abandoned within the first 3-6 months. Why should a search engine give priority to a web site in the rankings if it (the search engine) isn’t even sure yet that the web site will be around in a couple of months? —Search Engine Journal

That’s a lot to crawl and index, taking-up valuable space on servers which could be put to better use. With such an ongoing scenario, it’s little wonder why Google and Bing confine new sites to a proving ground. Here, sites might be more easily scrutinized under quality control measures called ranking algorithms.

From what discernible, sites are placed in the sandbox for approximately three months. During that time, despite the efforts of the owner, little to know activity occurs. However, what’s also experienced is a sudden, steady climb in traffic thereafter. This means although early efforts don’t bring immediate interaction, they eventually do, making it imperative to keep active.

Getting Out of the Search Engine Sandbox

New site owners should be patient and understand the value of the sandbox to search engines. The only way out of it is through it, so-to-speak. Which means that consistently adding quality content is an absolute must. After all, that’s the way sites long out of the sandbox which rank high do routinely, because it works.

Put another way, websites cannot and will not wait out the sandbox. The entire point is to give search algorithms a show of what’s to come, demonstrating a commitment to be of value after being released from hold. Though it’s understandable devoting resources to what seemingly constitutes stagnation isn’t worth the effort, the fact remains inactivity won’t be rewarded at any time.

Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search, and similar news. History buff, movie, and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband.     

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