For about 15 years now, people have discussed the idea of a Google sandbox for new sites, but Google insists that such a thing doesn’t exist.
For more info check out the full post over on the Search Engine Roundtable blog.
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Back in 2004, the idea of a Google “sandbox” was first presented. The idea is that new sites simply can’t rank well for a while simply because they’re new, and Google puts them in a sandbox for a while until they can trust them more.
Google has said a few times that a sandbox doesn’t exist, and just said it again last week. A user named Vijay asked: “Usually how long does it take to relieve from Google sandbox for new website?”
Google’s John Mueller replied succinctly, “There is no sandbox”.
This topic can be a bit confusing (and controversial) because new sites generally tend not to rank well. The reason isn’t due to a sandbox or anything like that, but simply due to normal signals. New sites have very few (if any) inbound links, and have pages that Google needs to crawl, index and work to understand. Unless you get huge press coverage (and links) immediately, Google has no reason to give your site good rankings.
If you find yourself in that kind of spot with a site, just keep working on generating excellent content and finding backlink opportunities, and you’ll find your site slowing climbing the rankings.