Around 90% of all mobile and tablet search engine traffic is via Google. So if you’ve created a new website, you must get into Google’s good books.
That’s why you’re focusing on keyword research and creating so much SEO-optimized content. And it’s paying off because your content is appearing high in search engine rankings, right?
If you don’t have lots of traffic from Google SERPs (search engine results pages) yet, don’t panic. Your website might be in Google Sandbox. It’s not a permanent thing and there is plenty you can do to get out of it.
Read on to discover exactly what Google Sandbox is and how to increase your new website’s traffic ASAP!
What Is Google Sandbox?
The Google algorithm favors websites and web pages that are both established (i.e. older) and updated a lot. These websites, in Google’s point of view, are more likely to provide value and expertise to users. That’s one reason why these web pages tend to rank in the top spots and new ones aren’t visible until the second or third page of results.
These websites that aren’t appearing on the first page are in the Google Sandbox. This is a probationary period for new websites and it comes with more restrictions. These restrictions continue until you prove you have an authoritative website by sticking around.
For example, if someone types in your website or company’s name then, of course, Google will rank your website. But if someone types in a keyword that a piece of your content is targeting then it might not appear.
Google has not acknowledged the existence of a Google Sandbox program. But certain patterns in rankings suggest there is a filter for new sites.
It tends to last around six to eight months. After that, your website’s content will start ranking for search terms and keywords.
Is Your Website in Google Sandbox?
It’s fair to assume that if your domain is under six months old (and isn’t a redirect of an older domain) then it might be in Google Sandbox. Even if you have a high page rank for one or two web pages, Google likely has some restrictions on how well your website performs in searches as a whole.
The best way to see if your site is in the Google Sandbox is to check the rankings of every piece of content. Not only the rankings for your target keyword but your average rankings across several keywords.
You can do this by using a search engine ranking checker tool. You type in the URL of your website and see if it ranks in spots 1-5 for any keywords.
If it only ranks in double digits, it’s likely in Google Sandbox. Click here if you want to check out a Google ranking tool. Because Google doesn’t acknowledge the Google Sandbox filter, there’s no way to be 100% sure.
How To Get Out of Google Sandbox
Let’s say it seems like your website is in Google Sandbox. Are you going to wait up to eight months for your website to start ranking? No!
There are steps you can take to speed up the authoritativeness of your site. Google will notice these signals (you hope) and remove any “new website” filters it has on your site. Read on to see what these steps are.
Get Indexed Using Google Search Console
Sign up for an account with Google Search Console so you don’t have to wait for Google’s spiders to index (i.e. list) your site. You can do it yourself!
Copy the URL of one of your web pages that you do not think is ranking well. Paste it into the URL inspection bar at the top of your Google Search Console account. It will tell you whether the URL is appearing on Google search results pages or not.
If it’s not, click “request indexing.” If it is, you should still click “request indexing” as Google might find new information about this web page that will help it to rank higher. You might need to repeat this exercise with a lot of web pages depending on how many you have.
Increase Audience Interaction by Other Means
Google is the most common way of gaining traffic for many websites, but it’s not the only way. Increase clicks to your website through social media and email newsletters. If you have audience interaction with your site, Google might take notice and realize your young site already has authority.
Increase Your Backlink and Internal Link Profile
Another way to scream, “this website has authority and deserves to rank!” at Google is to gain backlinks. Backlinks are links to your website from other websites. These act as a vote of confidence from other websites to yours, so it’s better to get them from higher quality websites.
Linking between the internal content on your website helps spread this authority around your site.
Build a Website Using an Active Domain
You likely already have a domain name for your website. But if you don’t, consider investing in one that has already been active in the past.
It will still have some domain authority attached to it. And since it’s likely older than eight months, it would be unusual for your website to enter Google Sandbox.
Other Reasons Your Website Has No Traffic
Google Sandbox is only one reason why your new site isn’t ranking well or has no traffic. Here are some other reasons to consider:
- High competition for your keywords
- Little quality content on your site
- Few or no backlinks from authoritative websites
- No audience engagement with your site
Being aware of the limitations of your skills is a great quality that will serve you well in business. Instead of giving up, invest in website and SEO training courses.
Learning How To Play Ball With Google
Since Google has the power to make or break the success of your website by restricting traffic, you need to play by Google’s rules. But that doesn’t mean you need to stay in Google Sandbox! Use these tips and you’ll be ranking high in Google SERPs before you know it.
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