Search engine optimization(SEO) is changing all the time. What worked 5 years ago to rank a site #1 has changed dramatically to what works today. There are new SEO terms popping up every month it seems, like the ‘google panda update’, ‘google slap’, or the ‘google sandbox’ which is the term I’m going to talk about here.

When a website gets sandboxed, it means google places it on the absolute last pages of the search results. So if you do a search for say ‘make money online’, and click all the way to the last page, most if not all of those websites on the last few pages have been sandboxed. So being sandboxed means you have done something wrong, and google is putting a filter on your site while sending you to the end of the line.

What causes your site to be sandboxed?

The exact cause is not known, just pure speculation from experiences. Below is a list of what are believed to be the most common ways to get your site sandboxed.

Over backlinking a new site

Taking a brand new site, and throwing thousands upon thousands of backlinks at it is believed to be one of the ways to get your site sandboxed. This is most commonly seen with a huge influx of low quality backlinks like spam blog comments and profile links on un-related sites.

Low quality content

Low quality content can consist of spun content, duplicate content, terrible spelling and grammar, or horribly formatted content. Combine a few of these together and you can bet you’re site is not going to last very long. If it doesn’t become sandboxed, it will be incredibly hard to rank.

Spiky linkbuilding

By spiky link building I mean inconsistent backlinking practises. For instance, if you were to do a huge blast of profile links, blog comments, article links, directory links etc. during the first week of your websites birth, then all of a sudden stop, it is going to set off a flag to google. Consistent link building has become increasingly important in today’s SEO.

Low quality backlinks

Low quality backlinks like blog comments from scrapebox and profile links from xrumer used to work wonders to rank a site by themselves. Now, if that’s all you used to try to rank your site you have a far higher chance of being sandboxed than if you had link diversity.

Combing 2, 3 or even all 4 of these into one website is a sure fire way to see sand in your pockets. Remember, these are all just speculation as nobody but Google truly knows the causes of the Google sandbox. If you feel you know some other tactics that can cause a sandbox please leave a comment below. I would like to turn this into a discussion, not just what I think.

Once your site has been sandboxed, getting it out is a whole nother story. So be smart, and stay away from the four tactics listed above and you and your website should be fine.

If linkbuilding has got you all confused, I suggest reading my article on the best linkbuilding stragies.