Picturing Oneself as the Perfect SEO...

Jill recently posted about Google's new patent:

Basically, if you have a brand new domain/website, it will automatically land in the sandbox regardless of anything that you do with it. Your new website will be stuck there for an unspecified period of time (averaging around 9 months these days) and it will not rank highly in Google for any keyword phrases that might bring it any decent traffic. ... But new domains will not show up in Google’s natural results for even slightly competitive keyword phrases until they are removed from the sandbox.

A friend recently had a 3 month old site ranking number 29 for a $15 per click single word keyword that got great search volume. Jill continues:

If you have a real company that is looking to establish a real brand and a long-term customer base, then you’ll want to stick with the basic SEO techniques which have been proven to work time and again.

In other words, the stuff I’ve been teaching and doing for years.

Things do change quickly. I know from personal experience some of the stuff I was doing a few years ago might not be good stuff today. She then makes any SEO shortfall sound as though it is the engines fault:

It is true that even for those who do practice what I preach, there have been occasions when some search engines mistakenly throw the baby out with the bathwater. That is, you may do everything by the book, but something somewhere trips a spam filter and your site may mistakenly get sandboxed, penalized or banned.

Kinda funny to view all of one's own SEO shortfalls as the search engines making a mistake and throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

The SEO space is constantly changing. When a person is new to SEO and dirt poor (me 2 years ago) they may be willing to work on sketchy sites and rank them from scratch. They will make errors (as I did), accepting bad clients and wasting time using ineffective techniques, but they will not be as quick to discount some techniques.

As you become more popular, people follow what you say and push you along to where you can do well even if you are dead wrong. So long as enough people think you are right then you are.

After you are established large companies want to hire you. The SEO techniques that work for large established brands which might be whitelisted are not the same techniques that work for Joe-average-webmaster.

I think it is important to frequently start new sites in a variety of industries to set up various flags to see how the algorithms change. Even if your results have proven effective on your own site it does not mean that everyone should practice what you preach.

This post is not a post stating how right I may be (as I frequently learn new stuff I should have known), but a post to reference the fact that each of us has a limited data set, and:

  • there is no one right way to do SEO

  • when bad things happen sometimes it is the fault of the algorithms, but sometimes it is a fault of our own
Published: June 26, 2005 by Aaron Wall in seo tips


June 27, 2005 - 1:57am

I'm extremely interested in the topic of ranking with new domains/sandbox as I'm launching a site on a "shoe string". I've read tons of conjecture about whether or not one can rank with a new domain. Personally, I believe that's it's possible, but have yet to see definitive proof.

So, if it's possible where can one get pointers on how to "avoid" the sandbox?

Thanks, Bob

June 27, 2005 - 11:53am

If you can make your site authorative enough there is no way Google is going to keep it boxed no matter when it went live.

The sandbox may not even exist at all in any real sense - it's more likely that sites affected by 'it' simply haven't become 'good' enough in Googles eyes to be ranked, and therefore it's a made up concept describing a place where all sites are until they become 'good' enough - like a comfort blanket for all those webmasters who haven't been able to rank a site for months on end!

The proof of this is the variable amount of time sites spend boxed and the fact that some sites are able to break out of it immediately.

Therefore IMO any site promoted properly has a chance to be ranked within a month.

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