The Sandbox Effect

It has long been rumored that Google “sandboxes” new website targeting highly competitive phrases. The SEO community itself can’t come to agreement as to whether this is in fact the case, nor whether it applies to links (i.e. do links to your site gain weight the longer they are on a site).

An application to the US patent office today confirms what many believed to be the case, the sandbox effect, it appears, does exist.

The application was submitted in part by Google software engineer Matt Cutts. Basically the application is to patent a technology that will allow documents to be ranked in part by their age. The full application details can be viewed here.

What does this mean? To me it’s a confirmation of a pre-existing belief that Google took into account the age of a site when ranking it in an effort to stop spammers who pump out multiple websites to monopolize the top positions. A good strategy as far as I’m concerned that, while frustrating to those launching new sites in highly competitive industries, is effective in helping keep the top positions a little freer of spam sites and more importantly, forces webmasters to put greater efforts into a single site than simply creating 100 sites in a “shotgun approach” to SEO.

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