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Glossary keyword - Sandbox/Supplemental Index

Sandbox/Supplemental Index

Google is believed to have another index that is called a supplemental index. Google sandbox does not allow new web sites to appear in the main index straight away. It works like a probation period for that website. Google decides to put some of the new websites into their sandbox, and users of the search engines cannot access those sites after they search.

A Brief History of Supplemental Index

In two thousand four SEO experts and webmasters noticed that the new sites that they launch were not ranking well for the first few months. In spite of their search engine optimization efforts, they could not manage to solve this issue. Although Google duly indexed those websites, they did not appear on even low competition phrases and keywords. In other search engines such as Yahoo, Yandex, and Bing, the sites were ranking well. The idea of the sandbox effect created back then, and digital marketing experts started to search for reasons why the sandbox effect makes their sites invisible in Google SERP for a particular time frame.

Why Does the Sandbox Effect Happen?

Google never admitted anything about the existence of a supplemental index though it is evident that quality check of a website is crucial for the company. The reasons that lead new sites to stay in the sandbox are:

Lack of Content

Google needs to see enough pages on the website so that it can determine the topical relevance of that site. Google needs more data to make a decision about your website and see in which topic bucket it belongs to.

Lack of High-quality Backlinks

Backlinks are essential factors for Google, and one of the reasons why the Sandbox effect happens is the lack of high-quality backlinks on websites. Google does not rank the sites that have weak backlinks regardless of the amount.

Lack of User Signals

Dwell time, CTR, and bounce rate are among ranking factors. Google needs to process more behavioral data so that it can compare that with other web sites. User signals determine popular keywords, and if there is not enough user signal, Google might postpone the process and restrict the website from ranking for a particular keyword.

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