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Google's sandbox and trustrank filters and your web site

Google's Sandbox and Google's TrustRank are often discussed in webmaster forums. How do these factors influence your web site rankings on Google and what can you do to get out of the sandbox or to get a high TrustRank?

What are the Sandbox and Google's TrustRank?

The Sandbox and Google's TrustRank are part of Google's ranking filters. A very important factor for the ranking factors in Google is time.

The age of your web site influences your rankings as well as the age of the web sites that link to your web site. In addition, Google checks since when other web sites link to your site and how your inbound links grow over time, etc.

If you have a new domain name, then it's more difficult to get high rankings on Google. Google doesn't know your web site yet so it it doesn't know if it can trust your web site or not.

For that reason, new web sites usually have to deal with more filters than old web sites. It can happen that a new site gets great rankings and then it disappears from the rankings for some months. This phenomenon is called the sandbox effect. You can find further information about it in previous issues of this newsletter (1, 2).

The Sandbox and Trustrank are two sides of the same coin

The Sandbox and TrustRank are just names for a set of filters. The Sandbox effect basically means that new web sites disappear from the search results for some time after getting good rankings. It means that time filters have been applied to a web site.

A high TrustRank means that Google has learned to trust a web site. It is probably is several years old, reputable sites link to the web site and the web site has a good inbound link history and it hasn't used spam techniques in the past.

A web site that is in the Sandbox probably hasn't a high TrustRank. Inversely, a web site with a high TrustRank won't be put in the Sandbox.

What does this mean to your web site?

The older your web site is, the better. It seems that Google's filters tend to be stricter with new domain names so it's more difficult to get high rankings with new domain names.

New domains have to prove that they are trustworthy before they can get high rankings.

To show Google that your web site is trustworthy, get good inbound links to your web site and keep on working on inbound links. The longer other web sites link to your site and if new web sites begin to link to your site the more likely it is that you'll get high rankings.

You should optimize the links to your site. If the right web sites link to your site, you show Google that your web site can be trusted.

If you have an old domain name and many good inbound links, then you can improve your Google rankings by optimizing your web page content.

If you have a new domain name, you have to show Google that your web site can be trusted first. You can do this by getting the right links to your web site. Use ethical SEO techniques to promote your web site on search engines.

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October 2006 search engine articles