About the sandbox filter, which is superimposed on young sites, there have always been heated discussions among optimizers. The majority of optimizers believe that it exists, but I have had the opportunity to communicate with experts who are very authoritative for me, who believe that there is actually no such filter, but there is a pseudo-filter that does not allow traffic to a young website - but not because of the imposed filter, and due to other objective factors - in fact, the lack of credibility of the site, determined by a combination of factors, and not by the youth of the site as such.
So let's first try to determine what the optimizers are called under the sandbox. The sandbox - it’s a sandbox - this is what this filter is called (or is it still a pseudo-filter?) Foreign optimizers promoting websites on Google. This is a certain period of time coming after the launch of the site, when, no matter what you do, it does not give you absolutely no visibility in search engines, not counting the transitions to branded queries or absolutely at ultra-low frequencies, for which there is simply no other relevant replies to issue.
Where did the talk about the sandbox come from? After all, representatives of search engines have never confirmed the presence of this filter. It's simple. Any optimizer who has experience with young projects has come across what is called head-on with this filter. Young project of commercial subjects. You do everything right: a good structure of the site, competent navigation, excellent texts, even natural backlinks are there, but there is no result. Then, bang - and a sharp take-off, the low-frequency starts to go to the tops, and not just some separate requests, but a large number of diverse requests - commercial, informational, and geo-dependent, and geo-dependent. We ourselves have many such examples in our practice. What is there to say, there is a sandbox, there is! Moreover, the site can be in a sandbox for a very long time in very competitive topics when promoting in the region of Moscow and the Moscow region. Here, for example, our client in the subject of "legal services":
Since June 2013 we have been working on the project - since the launch of the project. Everything was done correctly from the very beginning - extended semantics, good structure, correct navigation, competent involving texts, excellent content layout. But these are legal services, and this is the Moscow region. 6 months search traffic did not grow at all, being at the level of 20-30 visitors per day from organic. The strategy was not changed, they just continued to work, and then - bang! - Immediately traffic increased to 150 people per day from search results. At the same time, in the first 3-4 months of work we did a lot more on the project than later - the entire first stage was the work on expanding the semantics and creating the initial content of the site, after six months only internal optimization, relining and content marketing. It’s one thing to create 2-3 materials per week on a blog and another thing is the content of 300-350 information sections of the site.
Recognizable, right? Any optimizer came across this when working on young sites.
This is a normal thing in general, and everyone has become accustomed to it for a long time. 6, 8, 10, and sometimes 12 months the site of a commercial subject (providing goods or services) will be located in the sandbox, no matter what you do. However, some people think that during this period you can do nothing at all. But this is a mistake, it is during this period that the site requires serious work. And on the quality and volume of this work, in general, the timing of exit from the sandbox. And with what result you will get out of it - whether you will hang out in the top 30 on weakly competitive keys or enter the top 5 on selling woofers - this also depends on how effectively you work at the start.
But something makes me think about this filter all the time. And it makes one think about it that on some projects no sandbox is observed, or it lasts just a couple of weeks. I will give you an example.
Impressive, not true? After 3 weeks of work, we reached the rate of 800 unique per day from the search, in a month - 1400 unique.
And such examples sometimes happen too. Where is the sandbox? Why is it not?
Everything is explained simply. I have no facts, just a generalized experience, but I want to share it with you.
The sandbox, in my opinion, exists. Is this a real prefilter, superimposed on the site by search engines, or some logical consequence of the lack proven authority Site search is not so important. There is a sandbox! But in my experience, commercial websites fall under it (companies, startups, services, created for the provision of certain goods or services), and these services (or goods) should be ... how to say it ... common, common, popular . Do you want to open a legal agency? Get ready to go through the sandbox. Get ready to sell products for children through the online store? Get ready to go through the sandbox. Do you do web design? In the sandbox! Do you sell kitchenware? In the sandbox! Whatever you do with the site, no matter how plowed, in the first 4-6-8-10 months the traffic from the organic issue you will not be enough to pay back the business. Keep this in mind and plan your marketing activities on the assumption that at first you will need serious budgets for receiving traffic from other sources (yes, the context is preferable here, but it is expensive - think with your head, look for non-standard solutions).
So what about those sites that manage to avoid the sandbox? I will try to explain. These are sites ... non-standard, non-format, with an unusual service, the demand for which is now absent or very small, but with this, the demand begins to grow rapidly. Here I would refer - not all, and some - information projects. Why not everything? Because if you have created a regular culinary blog and write 2-3 materials per week there, you cannot avoid sandboxes. If your blog is unusual in terms of topics, it starts from the very first day, from the first materials, begins to receive a reader's response (in the form, above all, of non-search traffic, in the form of likes, sharing, etc.), then you will avoid sandboxes . In other words, in order not to get into the sandbox, you need to have some demand for your content (if you are media) or your service / product, and there is little or no competition in the subject matter.
For example number 2, which shows a graph without a sandbox, you see a project that is essentially a photo hosting site, a site for publishing your photos, but with some features unusual for such services (for example, no registration). That is, this is not a site where you can collect your photo albums, breaking them down by subject or year. This is a site where you can quickly drop any picture to post a link to it on the network. The service is demanded by a small but really existing audience. And it is this demand for service "here and now", at the present moment of time, allowed us to bypass the sandbox.
But the trouble is that there are very few such projects. Most search engine marketing customers most likely do not fall into this category. There are many times more legal and accounting firms, online stores and manufacturing companies than such extravagant services. But nothing bad about it, in general. As a rule, it is in the end that “ordinary” firms start earning money - with a much higher percentage of the probability of success. Even despite the difficulties in obtaining traffic from organic at first. Yes, there is competition (both on the Internet and offline), yes, there is a sandbox here. But there is a ready user demand and clear rules for monetization. And the income from such projects after leaving the sandbox is much higher for each attracted visitor from the search. In other words, a legal services site with traffic of 150 targeted unique visitors per day from a search is an operating business put on rails that can be bankrupt only by making some ridiculous and stupid mistakes. But 2,000 unikis a day for a picture service is monetized only by the advertising model, and the yield there is supposedly not so high (although, honestly, I did not see any financial reports, the project lives and develops, and this says that in general optimization budgets were justified).
What to do when you're in the sandbox?
But what to do if you couldn’t pass the sandbox? The first and biggest mistake you can only make is to do nothing at this time. You need to work on the site. Yes, understanding and accepting the fact that the return on the project now will not be so high. But work, go by making daily improvements to the user characteristics of the site. Let these changes be small, but permanent.
Excellent content marketing help you through the sandbox. Create and publish various materials for your target audience - guides, articles, white paper, infographics, video reviews. The requirement here is one - these materials should have some added information value, they should not be a “rewrite” of a million other articles posted on the Internet. Why do you need content marketing at this time? There are two reasons. It will significantly reduce your time in the sandbox. And, last but not least, after exiting the sandbox, thanks to content marketing, you can quickly build up good behavioral ranking factors. Yes, precisely behavioral. To think that content marketing only affects textual ranking factors is a gross mistake.
We, by the way, try not to take young projects for promotion on a budget deficit precisely because the quick exit from the sandbox and further significant growth in search traffic can be obtained only if you are working on content marketing. This is a big problem, what can I say. Not all customers are willing to budget work from which they do not see the immediate return. But at the very least, the market is being retrained, and customers also gain expertise (life forces).
What is the result
Promotion of young projects is mostly a big and serious problem. The sandbox does not give you a high position in the organic search, no matter what you do. But such is the reality. You need to stop hoping for magic, you need to learn to live in this new reality. And working on the site, constantly publishing new interesting meaningful original and popular content. And do not give up. The sandbox is not a sentence; you grow out of it - time works for you.
If not lower before the hands.