The Google sandbox is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to SEO. A lot of SEO gurus claim the sandbox is a myth or that it doesn’t exist. Trust me; the sandbox exists.
I’ve failed over and over trying to rank fresh new domains in Google. No matter what I try, the first 1-3 months of a website are brutal.
And if you are trying to rank for a keyword with high search volume; even more difficult.
After repeated failure, I searched the Internet to find a solution. Maybe there was something I could do to speed up this process.
How To Get Out Of The Google Sandbox
After hours of searching, I stumbled across Matt Diggity’s blog post on how to Reduce Sandbox Length. This was the only blog post I could find online that actually provided a (somewhat) solution to the sandbox. This little hack isn’t going to skyrocket you to page 1 overnight, but it will definitely give your site a boost early on.
Diggity’s strategy for lessening the sandbox was simple:
- Make social profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) for your company/website (naturally the first thing a company does when starting a new business).
- Create a press release in order to simulate hype around the launch of your website.
- 1-2 days after the press release: send high quality social signals to the homepage of your site (drip feed 10-30 days).
- Start sending high quality DoFollow backlinks to your site at slow velocity (1-2 backlinks per week). Diggity prefers PBNs, however you can use any source of high quality backlinks such as White Hat Guest Posts. Just make sure these are dofollow and are actually sending link juice to your site.
After reading this, I had this gut feeling that it would work. It just made sense, so I tried it out on a 15 day old website.
I bought the domain for this test site on May 21, 2017 and ordered 200 social signals from PBNButler on June 5, 2017. Instead of a press release, I decided to build some nofollow blog comments and social profile accounts to simulate the same effect.
To my luck, it worked.
PBNButler started sending social signals June 6th, and stopped on June 16th. Here is what happened:
Keep in mind this keyword was stuck in the 170 position way before June 5, this is just when I started tracking the keyword.
On June 15, not just one, but all keywords on my website (ranging from search volume 20 to 6,600) saw a positive jump in rankings and stayed there. Pretty soon, I expect my main keyword (49,500 search volume) to start ranking in Google. Not bad for a 3-week old website.
UPDATE: As of August 16th (about 2 months after this post), I hit position 64 for my main kw (49,500 searches/mo.) using the same method. I send social signals once a month and I sent about 25 decent quality PBNs at the end of July. The keyword fluctuates from 64-80 and I am hoping that after more PBNs and social signals this site will hit page 1 before November (online shopping is crazy in November/December due to Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.).
It’s quite funny, if you look at Matt Diggity’s graph, it looks almost indentical to mine:
In my own experience, I’ve found that Google tends to rank sites that are “going viral”, no matter how old the website is.
Alternate Ways To Escape The Google Sandbox
Matt Diggity has also mentioned escaping the sandbox by 301 redirecting. If you buy a site with higher authority and 301 redirect it to your brand new site, your new site will inherit the age of the old site (along with link juice/backlinks etc.). I have yet to test this but it seems like a powerful method.
If anyone has any other techniques for getting out of the sandbox, please let me know.