Staying Out Of The Sandbox

Overzealous new site owners often find themselves caught in the Google Sandbox within the first year of launching. There’s much speculation about why they land there and whether or not the “jail time” is to force site owners to pay for Adwords. There’s been plenty of debate on the subject, but in the end, no matter the motivation, no site owner wants to end up there. Here are some tips for avoiding those sand fleas:

Safe Link Building

  1. Forget about submitting your site anywhere until you have at least 20 quaity pages. Anything less won’t be taken seriously by quality sites that could potentially link to yours.
  2. When link building begins, submit slowly. Begin with brand based links first, not keywords, i.e., your site,, Any increase in the number of back links per month should be gradual.
  3. Sharing your links on social networks and let others link naturally to your website. By all means, any way you can encourage natural links is far more valuable than anything you can build manually at this point in time.
  4. Host a contest and submit it to various contest websites. They tend to show new contest and contests ending soon, sending your spurts of traffic at the beginning and end of your contest. Interested contest entrants will likely share the link to your contest with others.
  5. Do a press release. If you have something newsworthy to say, i.e. your site is offering a sale or running a contest, use an authoritative press release site like The site itself offers a valuable link, on top of the traffic and other link sources you’ll gain from distribution.


  1. Resist all tempation to start off the link building process with anchor text links using your most competitive keywords. You won’t make much progress on them anyway in the beginning. When you start building links, begin with long tail keyword phrases and local phrases, if applicable.
  2. Don’t buy links. This is double trouble. If Google doesn’t already know about the paid link, when it does, it will be devalued.
  3. Don’t build link after link with the same anchor text. Not only will you end up in the sandbox, you’ll get hit by the Google Penguin algorithm. Brainstorm as many variations of your keywords as you can, i.e. plural, singular, combined with other keywords, partial matches, synonyms, capitalized, lowercase, etc.
  4. Don’t submit to hundreds of directories or use auto-submit services. Any directories you submit to should be checked out first. Many of the low quality directories were hit by the Google Penguin update. Any directory that automatically accepts your website without review is one to stay away from. Check the page rank of the directory. Many that were penalized no longer have a page rank. If the directory says submitting to it will make your site rank better, do the opposite and back click out of there.

Anything you do should be in moderation. The only thing you should concern yourself with rushing is getting great content on your site.

About the Author: Theresa Happe works with Buy Domains, a website offering thousands of website domains for sale in every niche,

Alexander Jordan

I am a director, marketer, designer and thinker. I love all things tech, travel, music and culture. Follow me on Twitter, and Google+
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