Getting out of the sandbox

The other day, I wrote an article on how the sandbox works - how it opens up your new site to the possibility of good rankings after about 6 months.

I included a stock photo of a sandbox (we call them a sandpit in NZ), but then I remembered we have just spent the last few weeks building a sandbox for my 1 year old daughter. So in order to justify the use of an original sandbox photo, I need to come up with another sandbox article.
Baby Lulu getting out of the sandbox


My daughter Lulu getting out of her new sandbox

Getting out of the sandbox

I think the sandbox concept is great - especially given the rock bottom price of domain names, it's logical that long established sites should be given more trust than brand new ones.
As yet, I haven't found a reliable way of getting out of the sandbox earlier, although I have found that sites with lots and lots of unique content tend to fare better than a static brochureware site.

The technique I have been using does not help you get out of the sandbox quicker, rather it starts the waiting period quicker. If you are looking to actually speed up the sandbox process, doing some link building is always a good idea, though it may or may not help with the sandbox problem.

Finally, a use for the "coming soon" page

When a client asks me to do a site for them, the first thing I do (after they accept the quote) is register a domain and get a basic coming soon page online.
I then point a small number (less than 10) of PR 4 - 6 links at the new site, then sit back and wait for Google to index the site. This should be the first thing you do on any web project if you are interested in getting out of the sandbox early.

Based on the fact that websites can sometimes take a few months to develop, when the site launches, the domain will already be a few months old in Google's opinion, so there will be less waiting time in the sandbox. It's all about making that development time count towards your 3 - 9 months of sandbox time.

It can also be a good idea to create some subpages for your coming soon site too. Simply create some static pages with the same URLs as you intend to use on the real site - I know I will always have a www.domain.com/contact/ page on my sites, so it doesn't hurt to create a coming soon page here as well (or in the case of a contact page, actually put your contact details up there).

Typically, Google should index your new "coming soon" page within a week. This becomes the starting point of your sandbox time.

Sure, this isn't rocket science, but it's a reliable way of artificially reducing your time in the sandbox.
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Tags: sandboxseosandbox seo