People are still debating the existence of the google sandbox, but trust me it is real and it seems that the sandbox period is increasing every year. Most bloggers are not a big fan of the google sandbox which is understandable, but you should look at the positive aspects of the google sandbox, like the barrier of entry, not a lot of people can invest a lot of money and time into writing content without seeing any results.
You can get out of the google sandbox by writing a lot of content, targeting low competition keywords, adding a sitemap, using google search console, indexing your posts, adding categories, getting traffic, and by building backlinks.
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The biggest problem with the sandbox period is that it can take anything between 4-8 months to get out of it, and the google sandbox seems to be niche specific. Some niches have fairly short sandbox period while others can have as long as 16 months. Generally speaking, the google sandbox period is the longest in YMYL ( your money or your life ) niches like financial and health-related niches.
The good news is that you can reduce the sandbox period, although by how much is extremely difficult to say as every website is different. The age of the domain also plays a part in how long the google sandbox period will last, although if you have an old domain name without any content then don’t get your hopes up as the sandbox will be the same as with a brand new website. On the other hand, if you have an aged domain with some content than the sandbox will be a lot shorter.
What a lot of people do not know is that the Google sandbox is for every post of the website, so every time you write a new post than the post will be in the google sandbox for 4-8 months. Generally speaking, new websites have around 8 months of google sandbox period while old and established websites tend to have around 4 months. High authority websites that already get a lot of organic traffic can bypass this sandbox period by targeting low competition keywords, although they will still be in the google sandbox for at least a couple of weeks. If you are wondering how long will it take for your blog to make money than check out my recent article How long does it take to make 500 per month blogging? ( The Truth ).
Write a lot of content
A lot of bloggers make the mistake of writing 10 posts on their brand new website and wait for a couple of months until the sandbox period expires and continue adding new posts after that. The truth is that you need to write as many articles as possible, and as fast as possible. Set yourself a goal of writing a couple of articles per week until you have 50-100 articles, and then you can let the site rest.
Established bloggers tend to write no less than 100 articles and let the site rest, during this period they move on to other projects. I personally also do this, write 100 articles and set it to rest, if the website is starting to get traffic in 6-8 months than I take a look at the profitability of the website and decide if I should add more content or to simply focus on one of my other websites. Do not go all in by just focusing on one website, as results are not guaranteed even if you write high-quality content, and even if you do everything in a whitehat way.
Target low competition keywords
Generally speaking the higher competition a keyword is the longer the google sandbox period is. On the other hand, low competition keywords tend to have a fairly short sandbox period. Oftentimes when you target a low competition keyword you will find that once you published your post and you index it then it will rank in the second or even on the first page of google. In certain niches, there is so little relevant information that google simply shortens the google sandbox period if it has found a relevant article.
Once you have published your article, Google will give it a temporary rank, where it will stay for a couple of weeks or months, depending on the niche and the competition. Although technically the post should still be in the sandbox period but if you have done your job with the keyword research than odds are that it will rank a lot faster.
Sitemaps have been used by Google for a fairly long time, a couple of years ago Google was not that efficient in crawling websites, today however it is but the time which the google bot spends on your website is limited. By using a sitemap you allow the google bot to crawl your posts as fast as possible. If you do not have a sitemap then the google bot will have to go from one post to another which tends to take a fairly long time.
Use google search console
Google search console will give you an in-depth look at how your traffic is performing, which are the most popular posts, and how you can improve your website. A lot of people simply skip this part for one reason or another, although if you want to get out of the google sandbox as fast as possible then you will need to use the search console. When you first set up the google search console there will be no data available which you can analyze, just give it some time and you will start seeing stats.
In the performance section of the search console, you will be able to see the impressions, clicks, and the average rank of your posts. If you have a brand new website then you will probably have few impressions, but with time the number of impressions should go up steadily. The number of impressions also depends on the niche and the competition of the niche, if you target low traffic keywords then the impressions will be low but the CTR should be fairly high.
You should also add the sitemap to the search console, and make sure that the google bot is able to fetch it. You can still get away without using a sitemap if you have a simple WordPress blog, although if your goal is to shorten the google sandbox period than you should add the sitemap. Some people add two or more sitemaps, just to make sure, this isn’t necessary, one sitemap is more than enough.
Index your posts
A lot of SEO gurus say that there is no need to index new posts as Google crawls your website fairly regularly and it will index the post. The problem with this approach is that it can take several weeks until google indexes your post naturally, and the sandbox period tends to start from the day it was indexed. Google tends to make a lot of updates, and sometimes the updates tend to be extremely buggy.
If you are a part of an SEO forum than you have probably noticed that a lot of people are complaining that they cant get their posts indexed, or other issues that simply destroy a website. One of my websites with around 80 posts that was starting tor rank after being 6 months in the sandbox got hit by such a bug that deindexed most of my posts. It took another 8 months for google to reindex all the posts, so instead of having a 6 month sandbox period, my website had a 14 month sandbox period.
Every time you have made a post and published it then go to search console and index your post. Sometimes an error will pop up and you have to fix it before Google is able to index it. Other times Google will crawl your post but not actually index it, you can see which posts are affected by this and try to fix them.
Not a lot of people focus on adding categories to there websites and there are a lot of blogs using the default category which is named uncategorized. By adding categories you will give more information to the google bot to figure out what your content is about. Just make sure that the categories in which you place the posts are actually related to the post. A couple of categories should be fine, do not go overboard by adding dozens of categories as this will make the google bot take more time crawling them.
Every post of your website should be put in a category, just do not place the same post in multiple categories. If you put a post in more than one categories than Google might see it as duplicate content, I found this out while I was applying for Adsense and they rejected my website for duplicate content. Turns out that the google bot is not that smart after all, you should probably set the categories to be no index.
Once you have set up your categories and placed each of your posts in a category then you should add these to your menu. It is extremely important that all of your posts can be accessed quickly from your homepage, as this will allow the google bot to crawl your website a lot faster, and it will also make the usability of your website for the users a lot better.
One of the best ways to get out of the google sandbox a lot faster is by getting traffic. Generally speaking the traffic from social media is extremely good, and if you get a couple of hundred users on to your new post then you will notice that it will rank higher. The problem with this is that once the traffic from social media stops than the ranking of the post will go down and it will take some time to rank back again.
Do note that the traffic has to come from real people and not from bots. If you buy some kind of service that is selling social media traffic than you are getting bots masked like they are coming from social media, and this will penalize the posts or in the worst case the entire website. You might be tempted to buy some ads on Adsense or from social media, but unless you are selling a product you will only waste your money. One of the best places to get traffic from is by using Reddit, for more information check out my recent article How to get traffic from Reddit without getting banned? ( In 9 Steps ).
Backlinks are a major factor that determines the rank of your website, although you can rank without backlinks for low competition keywords but with backlinks, you will rank a lot faster. The problem is that most people go and buy backlinks which have high authority, but relevance is more important than authority. There are some niches where you simply can not rank without backlinks, so it will be a constant hassle to build more backlinks than your competitors.
A few backlinks to a high-quality post can have a massive impact, as long as the backlinks are coming from relevant websites. You can also do outreach which is basically sending an email to other webmasters in your niche and with some luck you might be able to get a niche edit or a guest post on their website, although a lot of them will ask for money. If you want more information about how to rank without backlinks than check out my recent article Can you rank a website without Backlinks? ( Fact or Fiction? ).
As you can see there are a couple of steps which you should make in order to lower the time of the google sandbox. If you make the above-mentioned changes to your site than you will lower the sandbox period, although do not expect miracles. The niche in which your website is targeting plays a big factor in how long the actual google sandbox period will be.