The Google Sandbox

What is the Google Sandbox?

The Google sandbox is an unfortunate reality that the majority of poker webmasters are going to have to deal with when they get their new poker websites out on the World Wide Web.

The sandbox is essentially a term for when Google prevents a new website from ranking well in their search engines if they are entering an industry that contains competitive keywords. So this is going to explain why you will be receiving very little traffic from Google in the first few months until Google feels that your site is worthy enough to leave the sandbox.

The sandbox is in place to prevent awful spam sites from ranking well in Google’s search engine. Because there is some much money to be made in poker, it is a competitive market with lots of people creating poker websites everyday. Lots of these website are pretty poor and will not provide any useful information to the visitor, and so Google simple throws all new poker websites into a sandbox for a few months until they prove themselves to be quality sites. By doing this, the poor webmasters will simply give up, whilst the webmasters with quality sites will persevere and make it out of the sandbox.

How and when will you get out?

There is not really a lot that anyone can do to get out of the sandbox, its just something that happens to every website in a competitive industry at the start. Typically, the sandbox period will last for around 6 to 9 months, but this is quite variable and is just an estimate of how long you can expect to be in the sandbox. For my first site, it took me around 8 months before I saw any significant change in my rankings. I used to get most of my traffic from msn search (which wasn’t a lot), but since coming out of the sandbox the majority of my traffic comes from Google; so it was definitely worth the wait.

What can you do in the meantime?

During this period you should not give up on your site and wait till you are out of the sandbox; you should continue to work hard on your site everyday in preparation for the time you get out of the sandbox. This means that you should generate as much quality content as possible and build strong links as you go along. Its not going to be easy to build content and links for little results, but when the time comes for you to leave the sandbox you will be in a much better position to start making money.

Can I avoid the sandbox?

Not that I know of. Unless you are going to enter a different and less competitive industry, you should expect to enter the sandbox if you make a poker website. This is something that happens to every website, so don’t feel too hard done by. At the end of the day, it will make your life easier in the long run because you will not be outranked by awful sites when you are running a quality site with lots of good content in the future, so just be thankful for it and suck it up in the first few months.

Where can you get your traffic from in the meantime?

If you are looking to get traffic whilst in the sandbox, you are obviously going to have to look elsewhere other than Google. One of the best ways I found to get traffic to my site was to frequently post on a poker forum, and put a link to my site in my signature. Some forums will not allow you to do this, whilst others do not mind. I could get around 10 or 20 visitors a day from the forums alone, which helped me get a handful of conversions at the start whilst I was still in the sandbox.

However, do not spam your links anywhere, or post links to your site in random posts. This is the best way to get yourself banned from forums and get a bad name for your site from the off. Make sure that you make quality posts and things will be fine. Nobody likes a spammer, so make genuine posts and let the link in your signature do the work. Be a stand-up guy when going about business and you will do well.

How To Get Traffic

I can tell you now; it will be worth the wait when you make it out of the sandbox. So just go about you business and build your content and links like you know you should. Make sure you hit the ground running when you get out of that sandbox.

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