Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Surviving the Google Sandbox

Anyone serious about their website wants it to rank high in Google. However, if you desire high search engine rankings and your site is brand new, it's important to know about the Google "Sandbox".

Basically, Google ignores new websites for up to a year. The reason is because it needs time to see if your site is relevant. Google does this by keeping an eye on traffic to your site and how many other "relevant" sites are linking to it. Once a year has passed, the more "popular" your site, the better it will fare in the search engine ranks.

Think about it...Google is THE premiere search engine on the web. It didn't get that way by showing you every single website possible. Some websites will be published tomorrow, only to fizzle out within months. Google is a great search resource because it always shows you the most relevant sites according to your search terms. If they didn't "sandbox" new websites they wouldn't be effective as a search engine.

So how does a brand new site survive on Google while in "limbo"?

By using Google AdWords you can bid on keywords and drive targeted traffic right to your website. For example, if you sell life insurnce in Chicago you can bid on "life insurance Chicago" so whenever someone enters it into Google a link to your site appears.

When it comes to bidding on keywords it's important to strike a healthy balance between low cost, effective words and little competition.

If there are 100 others bidding on your keywords, chances are you'll pay a hefty price for them. When you consider that keywords start out at only 5 cents per click, it's important to find ones that not many others are using.

In summary, the Google sandbox will keep your new website hidden for many months, but Google AdWords can drive targeted traffic to your site. This will increase it's popularity (or relevance), something Google will value highly once it finally begins indexing your site.

If you want to learn more about Search Engine Optimization, let me know and I'll be glad to help you.

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