The "Sandbox Effect"? This is worth knowing.

Last Update: October 17, 2021

Trust The Bots

In the Search Engine Journal (SEJ), which is a regular newsletter that highlights anything to do with Search Engines, I've just read a post, the content of which is worth sharing.

Google's John Mueller was effectively asked if the "sandbox effect" is real. I had no idea what the "sandbox effect" is so I read the article.

Someone moving a large site to a new URL asked what Google would do if they add re-directs from the old URLs to the new in batches over a period of time (they had about 1 million re-directs to do) or if they needed to implement them quickly to avoid the "sandbox effect".

He wanted to know if the effect of re-directs being implemented over time might affect Google ranking more than a fast transition would.

Apparently, the "sandbox effect" is a term coined during the "noughties" that refers to sites that more or less disappeared from sight as the result of a major URL change and took a long time to recover.

John Mueller's reply is interesting.

He explained that the "sandbox effect" was never a deliberate thing and it is even less of an effect nowadays.

He made the point that it's in the interests of Google's searchers that sites retain their ranking position as much as possible in order to preserve delivery of the best contextual content for a questioner's intent.

Apparently, Google's policy is to enable re-ranking as early as possible for the new URLs.

It seems that when Google bots, spot re-directs being applied, they have instructions to pay special attention to such sites (in their own time, of course, they're very busy running around the WWW).

So, when a bot notices that you are applying re-directs from old URLs to new URLs, they actually try to help speed up the indexing and ranking of the new URLs.

That's the limit of my knowledge on this subject. I hope it adds a little to yours (knowledge that is).

:-)
Richard

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CassiOfTroy Premium Plus
Richard, this is really good information.

I have read about the 'Sandbox Effect' before when I was doing research to move some of my blog posts from one website to another.

It was refreshing to see that things went very smoothly.
Both websites continue to enjoy quick indexing of posts and healthy rankings.

Thank you for sharing.
I have bookmarked it for future use.

Cassi
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JeannineC Premium
We (us oldtimers online!) used to also say that a site was in the Google Sandbox when it was first launched. Google wanted to see if it was a one-time thing or if the site would actually be maintained before ranking it, as there are easily tens of millions of URLs that never got father than a landing page.
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richardgb Premium
Ah-ha. Thanks for that Jeannine!
I do remember from a teacher (loathe to call him a guru because that's not an image he liked) called Chris Farrell, that it took him a while to figure out that Google didn't index landing pages and that he had to find other ways to get them in front of prospects.
:-)
Richard
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StephenJacks Premium
Thanks for the info Richard.

All the best
Steve
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richardgb Premium
You're very welcome, Stephen.
:-)
Richard
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RickSea Premium
Great bit of info Richard, thanks.

Rick
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richardgb Premium
Thank you for saying, Rick!
:-)
Richard
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LMH1968 Premium Plus
This is useful information to know Richard. Thanks for sharing :-)
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richardgb Premium
Thank you, Lisa. Yes, it's good to know isn't it.
:-)
Richard
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LMH1968 Premium Plus
Yes it is :-)
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