Main Points

  • Pay-Per-Click provides quick results but Organic SEO takes a while. For new sites, it can be months.
  • The Google Sandbox – a way to discourage fly-by-night sites, mini-nets, and other spammy gimmicks.
  • How to get out of the sandbox as quickly as possible.

How Soon Will I See Results?

Unfortunately, Search Engine Optimization does not yield instant results; it’s a long-term undertaking. If you are looking for a quick search engine presence, we should set up pay-per-click (PPC) accounts with Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing. This will get you the immediate search engine exposure you’re looking for when people search for your keyword phrases. PPC ads usually start displaying the same day you set up your account. But influencing the “free” search engines is like turning an ocean liner. You turn, but the response is not immediate. With luck, you’ll miss the iceburg.

Significant results usually begin to appear anywhere from weeks to a few months after SEO work has been done, depending on how well-established the site is. If pages and internal links are properly constructed and incoming links obtained from relevant, high-quality sites, listings should continue to steadily improve or at least be maintained (but may also fluctuate or even be dropped due to uncontrollable variables).

If your new web site has good rankings on Yahoo, MSN and other search engines but not on Google, it’s likely that your web site has been put into Google’s sandbox.

Google’s Sandbox

In general, brand-new web sites with new domain names need about 6 – 8 months to get top rankings (and in some cases, any rankings) on Google.

The usual pattern is that Google indexes the new web site, lists it for some less important queries and then drops it from the search engine result pages for several months. Although it may show up in other search engines, Google doesn’t list the web site, sometimes not even for the company name.

If you have a brand-new web site, don’t worry. You are not doing anything wrong. Your site is in the Google sandbox. The best way to get it out is to build quality incoming links and content.

Why does Google delay the inclusion of brand-new web sites?

The sandbox is Google’s attempt to prevent spammers from creating spammy, fly-by-night web sites. Google wants to list high quality web sites with good content in its results pages.

A while back (and to this day), many webmasters tried to artificially inflate the link popularity of their sites by creating a “mini-net” of small web sites with different URLs that all link to each other. Many of these web sites had no purpose other than linking to the main web site.

People building such sites used this and other strategies frowned upon by Google to build sites with little significant content. In fact, these webmasters fully expected their sites to be banned eventually for violating Google’s guidelines, at which time they would discard them and build new ones.

By delaying the ranking of new web sites, Google hopes to encourage webmasters to build high-quality, content-rich sites which won’t clutter Google’s index with “junk.”

What can you do to get out of the sandbox as soon as possible?

As soon as you have a domain name, create a temporary page and link to it from another web site to make Google aware of your web site. The 6-8 month delay seems to start with Google’s first contact with your site. The sooner Google knows about your site, the sooner it will be listed.

Then, keep adding content, building high-quality, relevant incoming links, and make sure that your web pages are optimized for Google.

Can you speed up the whole process?

Probably not. Some webmasters in online forums suggested that it might help to get inbound links that point to internal pages of your site, not just to your index page. This is always a good idea anyway.

It might also help if your site has its own “fixed” IP address and it also seems to help if you have a link from the Yahoo directory and a few other “white-listed” directories. However, these theories haven’t been confirmed yet. In fact, some SEO experts question whether the Google sandbox even exists. Whether or not does, the advice for getting out of it is good general advice anyway.

By the way, Yahoo and MSN don’t have such a delay so while you’re waiting for Google to kick in, you’ll start getting traffic from these search engines.