The Google Sandbox describes a specific effect relating to the Google ranking of new websites. There is a sudden drop of websites in the search results of the Google search engine.
The Google Sandbox is a filter system of the Google search engine. Google itself denies its existence. However, the fact remains that many webmasters, domestic and abroad, are confronted with the sand-boxing effect daily. The Google Sandbox is a relatively new filter system, which was created shortly after the updates of the Google algorithm in March of 2004. Since then, many SEO specialists concern themselves with the presence and the procedure of the Google Sandbox. After the Allegra update in February 2005, the presumption arose that some websites were released from the sandbox by the update and were listed better with some keywords.
The Google Sandbox filter is probably used for almost all new websites, but few may be spared. It has been observed that websites which right at the beginning underwent optimization with respect to their keywords, were affected more by the sandbox effect. The result of the filter is that new websites are easy to find with the search engine in the first weeks after starting, but then suddenly plummet down in the rankings (“slipping down like sand”). It is believed that new websites have to prove themselves before they are incorporated as fully validated in Google’s ranking. There are still numerous opinions on the exact nature of the sandbox principle. There is a generally accepted hypothesis that the Google Sandbox directly refers to the age of the website. Another approach is based on the basic principle of link popularity. It is believed that the sandbox does not consider the age of the website, but rather the age of the incoming links (backlinks). It is believed that the links are compared with the content of the website and checked for appropriate relevance. This in turn means that content relevance of the links seems to play an important role in Google ranking and the sandbox filter.
The Google Sandbox is therefore not so much a penalty or other sanction levied by Google, but rather a test period. Therefore, the sandbox effect is expected in the long term to demotivate many spammers, but not to deter new SEOs and their clients from their path. Today, the Google Sandbox barely plays a role any more, since the Google algorithm and thus the ranking procedure have changed. But a little patience and a specific know-how remain the prerequisites for successful Google SEO.