5 Ways to Dig Out of the Sandbox

The Bermuda Triangle, the South Atlantic Anomaly, Easter Island, and… Google’s Sandbox.

That’s right! We’ve added the dreaded but never-officially-acknowledged Google Sandbox to the list of the most mysterious places where things tragically disappear.

If you haven’t heard, Google doesn’t trust new website domains, and they like to keep them hidden from view. They’ve been burned in the past by unethical tactics that get sketchy new sites to rise to the top unfairly – such as bulk link buying, keyword stuffing, content spinning and repurposing, etc. As a result, Google puts each new website domain in a “sandbox” and holds them at the bottom of search engine results for around 6 months.

If you’re just now trying to establish an online presence for your direct sales business (or any website for that matter), don’t freak out! There are a few things you can do to dig yourself out of the Sandbox and start ranking faster on the most popular search engine.

1. Use an Aged Domain

Let’s make a little distinction here. Google puts new website domains in a sandbox, not necessarily new websites. That means you can use an aged domain for your new website and bypass the sandbox altogether! You should purchase an old or expired domain on GoDaddy.com or use an aged domain you’ve been hanging onto for awhile.

If you really must use a brand new website domain, follow the rest of these helpful tips….

2. Post Fresh Content

Google is a glutton for fresh content! Hot, original content is the nutritious food that makes him happy. If our imagery here sounds a little over-the-top, it’s because this point cannot be overstated! The more Google sees of you and hears of you, the sooner you’ll start ranking.

To do this, set up a company blog attached to your corporate website. For instance, our company site is www.flyingmanproductions.com and our blog is www.flyingmanproductions.com/blog. Then fill that blog with quality content that gets people reading and sharing.

Here are a few tips:

  • Hosting Site: We recommend WordPress.com or Google Blogger
  • Frequency: Try to blog 2 or 3 times a week
  • Keywords: Your posts should include the keywords you’re trying to rank for, but avoid keyword stuffing! Focus on QUALITY content that is well written, easy to follow, and full of VALUE. The Title of your blog and headlines in your blog posts should include an SEO keyword, if possible.
  • Topics: Your goal is to establish yourself as the authority in your niche market. You want to write the pieces that prompt your ideal customers to share, tweet, and start a conversation! Provide useful tips, helpful advice, and an original, authentic outlook that positions you as the expert.

3. Direct Sales Blog Commenting

Prove your legitimacy by providing Google with quality links on reputable websites. The best way to share your links on the web is to comment on other blogs in the industry. Be sure to follow these steps:

  • ONLY POST ON REPUTABLE SITES so you don’t get flagged as Spam! Finding these sites is an art, but it’s worth the investment of your time! The easiest way to do this is to use the Mozbar extension on Chrome and Firefox. The Mozbar extension shows you how much authority a website has. If you don’t already have Mozbar, just search for “Mozbar” in a Chrome or Firefox search and download the extension for free. Then do a normal Google search for a topic in your niche market (“healthy skin care blog”). Under each search result, you’ll find the Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) for that website. These will be measured by a numerical value from 0-100, with 0 being a website Google doesn’t trust and 100 being the most reputable. Anything over 30 (especially for Domain Authority) is a website you can trust with your links.

After you select a site, read each blog post thoroughly and choose one that most closely relates to your products and services. Provide relevant and thoughtful comments to the article, proving that you read the entire post and have valuable feedback or opinions. Then offer your own expert opinion, or add to a point where you feel the author may have overlooked something. Always leave your website link in the appropriate field under your name and email address.

Your thoughtful comment will encourage other readers to click on your link and visit your website or blog.

Resist the temptation to always post your link within the comment. Only link to your own blog if your comment is lengthy, detailed, and the link directly supports what you’ve said.

4. Go for Long-Tail Keywords

If you’re just now getting into the game, it would take you years to rank for popular keywords! Forget the single buzzwords, and focus instead on the phrases and long-tail keywords that more adequately describe your products and services. We have discussed these extensively on our post “Keywords: The Whole Story”.

5. Don’t Be a Perfectionist

Most companies cannot imagine launching their website until it’s absolutely flawless. But remember that Google’s sandbox is an hourglass timer! This is a strategic game against time. The sooner you release your website – even a few pages – the less you’ll have to wait. You can start building links and posting on your blog before the full website is finished… and then you’ll have another exciting announcement and Press Release option once the website is complete.

Have you had success getting your website out of the Sandbox? Tell us in the comments below.