Home / Case Studies / Search Engine Optimisation / Does The Google Sandbox Really Exist?

Does The Google Sandbox Really Exist?

Since I started this blog I have been focusing the majority of my internet marketing time either growing this blog or growing my new money site network. It has been a while since I have worked with brand new fresh domains and I quickly noticed they are not behaving in the way I had become used to.

I decided to go over the analytics data for my old sites to see if they had behaved in a similar way to how the new domains in my new money site network are behaving. Unfortunately, due to a number of reasons such as sites failing, sites being slapped, or me forgetting to add the analytics tracking code to a site  I only have the analytics data available for four of my old money site network sites.

In this post, I will be sharing the analytics for these sites with my readers while breaking down each profile as best I can.

Site Number One

Google Analytics Data For The Google Sandbox

This is the analytics profile for the very first site I attempted to practice search engine optimization on, it turned out to be a relative failure but I gained so much data from it to develop my methods that it has paid for its self many times from the innovation of its data.

The site was started way back in April 2014, at the time I had no idea about efficient keyword research and literally went with the strategy of choosing keywords at random for my articles. The domain was totally fresh and as you can see it took around seven months before traffic began to climb.

Site Number Two

Google Analytics Data Site Two Google Sandbox

Again, this site was created on a brand new fresh domain, I had invested some time and effort into my keyword research methods by this time so I had begun to target easier keywords. As you can see this site took around four months for traffic to begin to climb.

Site Number Three

Google Analytics Site Number Three Google Sandbox

By 2016, I had managed to tweak my backlinking method enough to be able to screen keywords in bulk and know that the keywords left behind after the process had a good chance of ranking with the method I was using at the time. Again, this site was created on a brand new domain with no history or prior ownership.

As you can see this site took around three months before traffic began to climb. This particular site is also part of two other case studies I plan to publish in the future. One is based on how I managed to recover the site from a hit by penguin and the other is based on trying to scale sites after penguin 4.

Site Number Four

Google Analytics Site Number Four Google Sandbox

Again, this site was created on a brand new fresh domain, this particular site was part of a private blog network test I decided to run. Although I class the test as successful I am not a fan of private blog networks for a number of reasons but may return to them in the future if I am unable to develop a new tiered link building strategy soon.

The particular keyword used for this site is what I class as a goldmine keyword, I have not found many and their earnings potential is crazy high considering the amount of effort required to rank them. As you can see it took two months before the traffic for the site began to climb.

What I Make Of It

I am fully aware that the data of four websites proves nothing and I plan to revisit this subject in the future once I have my new money site network online along with the analytic profiles of its domains. The first three websites were ranked using GSA Search Engine Ranker with my old method that seems to have been patched out, as I mentioned earlier the fourth website was ranked using a private blog network.

It definitely seems that there is some sort of sandbox that a site created on a fresh domain is placed in for the first few months of its life before Google turn on the tap and begin to provide to let the traffic flow. I know that some people may think that this wait time is due to waiting for backlinks to kick in for the site and rank the screenshot below shows the traffic for a keyword on site number three ranked with GSA Search Engine Ranker that was added to the page once it appears to have left the sandbox.

Google Analytics Profile

The page was uploaded around the start of September 2016, it was ranked by October 2016 and then the whole sites ranks began to drop. I believe this was due to the penguin four roll out and as you can see the traffic dropped off for the page for November and December 2017. At the time of writing, it is only the 18th of January 2017 and the traffic has already surpassed that of December leading me to hope my case study on recovering the site from what I suspect was a penguin 4 hit has been successful.

The data provided from these old analytics profiles would suggest I have a minimum of around three months to wait before I begin to see the results of my tests and be able to pull any real cash from my new money site network. In reality, the majority of these tests will fail so it is probably going to take a fair bit longer before I begin to see anything worthwhile.

As I said, I know four sites is a tiny data set to base a judgment on but I hope this post has helped some readers set a realistic time frame for their sites to begin to receive traffic from Google. I have spoken to so many people who believed the faked screenshots used on sales pages that show crazy rankings and traffic within days so I hope this helps ground any unrealistic expectations for fresh domains and help a few users stick it out rather than canceling their hosting accounts before their site has a chance to leave the sandbox.

Join The Mailing List!