What is Google Sandbox in SEO? Does it Really Affect the Sites ?

7 mins read
Oct 16th, 2023
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Did these ever happen to you? After launching your new website, you initially experienced good traffic and ranking, but after a few months, your website isn’t ranking.

If you have come across such a situation, then these conditions your website is facing might be due to the phenomenon called “Google Sandbox SEO”. However, Google is the most popular search engine in the world and it is growing exponentially day by day. And, Google keeps changing its algorithm plenty of times a day, which makes it difficult to track every update.

So, if your new website is experiencing no ranking after a few months, then it might be possible due to Sandbox SEO. So, with this blog, we are going to discuss Google Sandbox and how to handle this phenomenon.

Let’s begin our Blog and be with us till the end

What is Google Sandbox?

The Sandbox is a kind of probation period for new websites. It is a hypothetical effect that prevents the new site from getting ranked on search engine result pages. The process is also called Google Sandbox Penalty or Sandboxing.

Basically, the Sandbox is a protective measure by Google that ensures that any new website is free from spam and malicious activities. It maintains the quality and security of search engines. However, it might take up to years to remove your site from Sandbox.

The logic behind these is that a newborn site would not be able to rank and index well on search engines. That is why Google introduced a new algorithm for delivering more appropriate answers to their users, like a filter for new websites that do not show properly in search results.

Many SEO marketers believe that Google stores the information in a cache and does not include any search engine result pages. The Google Sandbox period is up to 6 to 8 months, after this period, your website would be able to rank again on SERP.

History of Google Sandbox

The Google Sandbox came into effect in 2004, it was the time when despite applying every SEO tactic, building high-quality links, and writing the best content with low competitive keywords, websites were not showing on Google SERP, but meanwhile, they were ranking on other search engines well.

Then, the SEO marketers came to know that there is some filtering mechanism responsible for low ranking. The mechanism selectively separates the new websites from getting ranked on SERP, to ensure their security, that is called the Google Sandboxing process in SEO.

How Long Does Google Sandbox Last?

As the Google Sandbox is unfiltered data, there is no data to confirm how long the site can last in the sandbox. It has been observed that Sanbox data can last up to a few months and then it can even stay there for years.

But mostly, the sandbox lasts up to a few months, and during this time whatever the efforts are created, the site won’t rank on Google.

How do you determine if your Website is in a Sandbox?

Below are the few signs that would help you to determine whether your website is in sandbox or not

Google Search Console and Google Analytics can be used to detect whether the website is in a sandbox or not. In GSC, you can check out the ranking position of your pages, even despite having a website well-optimized, if your website is not ranking, then it could be the case of Sandbox.

Besides these, consider the below indicators too,

  • Google does not display the site pages even when the search query is an exact match.
  • Your SEO best practices are all good
  • Competitor’s websites are ranking higher than yours
  • Other search engines like Yahoo and Bing rank your site higher
  • SEO tools rank higher regularly

If you observe any of these indicators for your website, then there is a high chance of your website being in Sandbox.

Why is your New website not Ranking?

Getting the website listed in Google, does not guarantee higher rankings. The ranking of a website goes through different factors. And despite having a good SEO campaign, if the website does not rank, then there might be various reasons.


In search engine optimization, competition is the major reason behind the website’s ranking fall. If you target highly competitive keywords, you will not be able to rank your website. So, make sure to find keywords with less competition and high search volume. Even if your website has a high number of keywords, your page will still rank lower. This is because Google does not trust sites with a high number of keywords. This is why, always focus on creating low competitive keywords with high search volume, so your website will begin to rank.

And, once your website ranks, Google will consider you to have quality content and will reduce your sandbox period.

Lack of Content

Content is the king of Search Engine Optimization and when you publish your content, search engines will interact with your site and try to determine its relevance. And, if it does not find anything relevant, it will sandbox your site.

So, just make sure to spend more time developing quality content with relevant keywords. For writing such content, you just analyze and pick a relevant topic, perform extensive keyword research, and then begin to prepare your content.

Low-Quality Backlinks

Quality links play a very crucial role in your website. It increases your website’s credibility and authority. Websites having high-quality links catch Google’s attention. And the absence of high-quality links could be the reason behind your ranking fall. Furthermore, make sure to build a link from the qualitative sites, then only it would help your site in a higher ranking.

By getting quality links, Google will find your website authoritative and it will remove it from the Sandbox.

Lack of User Signals

Rankings are also dependent on user signals. Search engines also analyze your user data, traffic, bounce rate, and click-through rate. If your page does not have enough user signals, then it is possible Google will sandbox your site.

So, focus on increasing your audience engagement with the site. You can add a comment section, and a review section to improve the user interactions with your site.

Ways to Stop Google Sandbox from Affecting Your Site

The Sandbox period is uncertain, it can take up to weeks, months, or years. But we can reduce the sandbox period by applying a few SEO tips.

Use Long-Tail Keywords

Short keywords are highly competitive and difficult to rank higher on search engines. So, for a new webbie, try to target long-tail keywords with high search volume. By doing these, you would be able to target a large audience and stand out in Google. It will help you to get your website out of the sandbox.

Focus on Branding

Focus on acquiring the brand for your business. Because branding in business doubles the authority of websites. And it can be built by using brand names everywhere where it’s possible like social media or any other websites.

Build Authority for Your Website

High authoritative websites are prioritized more to rank on Google. So, try to earn credibility for your site by posting relevant articles, forum submissions, Guest posting, and many more. It would strengthen your domain value and increase the credibility of your business.

Build Social Signals

Social signals are important in SEO because Google looks at each metric to get your website ranked on SERP. If you have a good social signal, you will get top rank in search engines. Social signals are more like citations for your business.

To increase social media traffic, you can create a social media account for your brand, post videos and content, and run an ad campaign to promote your business products and services. You can even link all your activities to the social media page.

Few things you can do to boost your social media signals:

  • Post regularly on different media channels
  • Use images and videos on content to get more shares
  • Give a reply to your social media comments
  • Create your profile on every social media page
  • Add social sharing buttons to your page

Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

Some think publishing lengthy content gives a fast ranking. But it is totally wrong, search engine algorithms focus on your quality. If your content quality is good, your site will get ranked. Writing keywords again and again and unnecessarily lengthen the content, makes your website look spam.

This is why your content should be well-written, and relevant with accurate information. Furthermore, update your content frequently and optimize it for search engines. Frequently updating content and optimizing well for search engines can help you remove the site from the sandbox.

Conduct On-Page SEO Properly

On-page SEO is critical for search engine optimization. Properly improvising page elements can help you to remove your site from the sandbox quickly. On-page optimization is used to enhance the elements of your page and it lets the search engine crawlers and users understand your website content properly.

The on-page elements include optimization of page structure, headings, meta-tags, titles, keywords, content, and many more. Improvising these elements lets Google understand your website properly.

There are over 200 on-page SEO factors, but not all are equal. Focus on below 5 factors to improve your website performance

Website Speed – Your Website should be loaded as fast as possible. The fast-loading website captures fast ranking.

Mobile Responsiveness – Mobile users are higher as compared to desktop users, so ensure to optimize your website for all devices.

Keywords in the title tag – Put your primary keywords at the beginning of your content.

Internal Linking – Interlink your relevant pages properly with each other.

Quality Content – Make sure your website content is relevant to your topic and comprehensive.

Wrapping Up

Here, we came to the end. Hope you have understood the concept of Sandbox SEO. Site ranking is an important factor for any website and it really looks disappointing, despite having a well-optimized site, does not rank. But we assure you that by applying our strategies, you will be able to remove your site from Sandbox.

And, Still, if you have any queries – contact UPSQODE – the top-rated SEO agency, that can help you to solve all your queries.


Does Google Sandbox Still Exist?

Google has officially denied the existence of Sandbox. However many marketers strongly believe in the presence of a sandbox period. Through the independent testing, there is a piece of strong evidence that supports the sandbox period ranges from a few weeks to several months.

What is a Sandbox in SEO?

The term sandbox in SEO refers to the situation where new websites do not rank on search engines. It is like a probation period, Google puts websites in the sandbox to ensure the security of the website.

How can I remove my website from Sandbox?

The following things could help you to remove your website from Sandbox like

  • Generating high-quality content that focuses on the targeted audience.
  • Make proper use of keywords as you can use them on title tags, meta-tags, descriptions, and subheaders.
  • Acquire relevant links from authoritative websites
  • Promote your website
  • Build social signals

Can Old Websites Go in the Sandbox?

New websites mostly go into the sandbox. It is even possible for the old website to experience this effect. If the website is not active for a longer period of time, then it can go into the sandbox.

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