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  • 5 Keys for Staying Out of the Sandbox

    28 October 2010

    Stuck in SandboxHave you ever wondered if your blog is being affected by the Google duplicate content penalty?  Obviously, if you’re plagiarizing content or simply aggregating RSS feeds, and that’s your game, you can expect this to happen.  But you might be affected by this or other ranking-killing issues without even knowing it.   By looking through the following list of suggestions and applying them, you can easily ovoid these problems, and overcome them if you’re already taking a hit.

    Update Frequently – The last thing you want is to get trapped in the Google Sandbox.  Lack of content and websites that do not update frequently are the most likely to face this problem.  It’s understandable that updating a website five times per day can be a sometimes impossible task, but update your site once per day. And when updating your content, be sure not to use too much keyword repetition, if at all avoidable.

    Spotless Links – Take a good look at your site and seek out links to external sites that are in your comments and/or posts.  Make sure to remove any links that may lead to any type of objectionable material.  Having links to external websites that contain this type of material can have a very negative effect on your website.  It will most likely decrease your search engine rankings, and as a result, your traffic will slow down.  If you are diligent about removing these types of external links, your website will be able to rise back up in the rankings!

    Backlinking – Google’s favorite things are links. Without a pretty substantial number of links on your page, you may not rank very highly with competitive keywords.  With this said, it is important to note that there are two types of links:  Superior links and inferior links. Examples of inferior links would be links that come from link farms, and also links from completely unrelated websites.  Superior links are from related websites and aren’t attached to link farms.

    Trust - Building a site that is trusted is incredibly important.  When you’ve built up a certain level of trust, it ensures that people will return – even if you are offline for three or four days.  There are several different ways in which to build a trusted site, but the most important way is through providing quality content that is either highly useful or highly entertaining, and whenever possible, completely original.

    Proper Hosting – What would you do if you woke up one morning, and got on the computer just to find out that your rankings, which were page one rankings, had completely disappeared?  After the panic subsides, and your adrenaline calms down, what exactly do you do?  Call your hosting provider to find out if they have had any outages.  If your site is not a trusted one, you very well may have lost all of your content. This is one more reason that maintaining a trusted site is so important.

    It is never a pleasant experience to be in the sandbox. The last thing anyone wants is to be penalized for something when they are in the process of building a business. Taking the proper steps in order to ensure that you are within the guidelines is very important. It can mean the difference between front page rankings and 10th page rankings. The above are proven methods used by the pros to make sure that their website is properly ranked. By implementing them yourself, you’ll notice a steady increase in your traffic.

    What other tips do you have for staying out of the sandbox?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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    13 Responses to 5 Keys for Staying Out of the Sandbox

    1. Jake Adams October 28, 2010 at 10:20 am #

      Good tips. I might also suggest one more minor tip. Don’t place your posts in multiple categories. From what I hear Google doesn’t like this. Multiple tags are ok but not multiple categories. Its the little things that make a difference. Thanks.

    2. Jamie Northrup October 28, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

      I’m not sure if this is true, but I heard that a domain that is approaching expiring (specially new ones in the first year) tend to not do as well on Google.

    3. elsa @ mengatur keuangan October 29, 2010 at 4:16 am #

      @Jake Adams

      Sometimes my posts may belong to one or more categories,
      so I do that all the time.

      I’ve heard that having multiple categories doesn’t mean that
      you have onpage duplicate content. But I’ve heard that it will
      devalue the post.

      But once again, I don’t mind with that.

    4. JohnAtBlogtrepreneur October 29, 2010 at 7:24 am #

      @Jamie: I hadn’t heard that one. Does anyone else know if Google’s algorithm is pulling domain data?

    5. Jamie Northrup October 29, 2010 at 8:29 am #

      @John I just figured out one of the places I heard this, if you go to it’s a website created by HubSpot and when you enter your domain and go section 2 (Optimize) part E (Domain Info) it says this:

      “The domain for this website is set to expire in less than a year (December 21, 2010 @ 12:00:00 AM (EST)).

      We would suggest renewing this domain with your registrar. Google and other search engines may penalize websites with domains that are set to expire soon. The reason for this is that many spam sites are often registered for short periods of time. Most registrars support paying upfront for several years and the cost is usually only about $10-$20 per year, so it is generally worth it.”

      Not sure how valid the info is though.

    6. luke October 30, 2010 at 5:38 am #

      Now that is interesting, I never knew that at all! – just shows that there is so much more to Google, or getting indexed than meets the eye.

      Not quite sure how valid that info is either, but who does?….I mean, have you ever tried contacting Google? haha


    7. Jasmine October 31, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

      I think getting proper hosting is of vital importance! Now for some shameless plug, if you need to check out what are some of the better web hosts, do check out


    8. Jasmine October 31, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

      By the way, do you know how to check if a website is trapped in Google Sandbox? I want to know so that I can check and make sure mine isn’t in there. :)


    9. Carlton November 1, 2010 at 12:39 am #

      That is true and sandbox is a reality. One of our website has been into sandbox for 8 months.

    10. Computer Tips Tricks November 1, 2010 at 2:28 am #

      Trust/authority of the host domain is the largest factor to rank well. You must not skimp on your hosting choice. Pick a well known host.

    11. JohnAtBlogtrepreneur November 1, 2010 at 9:18 am #

      @Jamie: Thanks! That’s good info to have! It makes sense, whether it’s legit or not. :)

    12. Bryan @ Money With Articles December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

      Great tips here! The key to having a great website that gets a lot of Google love is to simply fill it with unique and engaging content. You’d be surprised at how much traffic you can get and how your rankings can climb when you do that.

    13. itranscribe March 10, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

      hey, help me out here. Seven box listing is known as sandbox, Right? I’ve heard its good to be in the sanbox listing then why is it mentioned to stay out of it?

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