Contest Shatters Google Sandbox Myth

February 15, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
Webmasters and search engine optimizers (SEOs) have long suspected that Google penalizes new sites by keeping them out of its search results. A contest being run by proves that this notion is wrong and that the only thing keeping new sites out of Google's index is failing to follow Google's own webmaster guidelines.

The contest revolves around a made-up keyphrase. The winner of the contest — which runs for 62 days and ends on March 3, 2006 — is the site that ranks first in Google's index for the phrase "redscowl bluesingsky". To ensure fairness, and to test the Google "sandbox" theory, only domains registered after December 25, 2005, are eligible for this contest, ensuring that only new sites take part. Predictably, a number of domains incorporating either or both of the "redscowl" and "bluesingsky" keywords were quickly registered and entered into the contest, since keyword-based domains generally rank well in any search engine.

To the surprise of those who believe in the Google sandbox, the search results for "redscowl bluesingsky" were immediately dominated by these new domains. Other sites, such as, were also able to place highly without relying on a keyword-based domain, relying instead on simple yet proven search engine optimization techniques based on including keywords:

* in the body text;
* in the page title;
* in the page address; and
* in links to the page.

In other words, a good SEO is a good copywriter. Instead of using "black hat" techniques that get their sites banned from Google (like BMW's German site recently), site owners should instead follow Google's own webmaster guidelines ( to create pages that contain useful and relevant content.

Google doesn't sandbox new sites just because they're new, but because they don't follow their guidelines.


Eric Giguere is a content monetization and search engine optimization consultant and the author of the books Uncommon AdSense and Make Easy Money with Google. His latest project is, a question-and-answer site. Eric can be contacted at