When I did usual stats check this morning, I was surprised to see that I had only received 15 page views on my new site yesterday and only 1 page view today. I know it’s Easter weekend and all, but 15 page views? Something was amiss.
I looked at my page views to see they were coming from Yahoo and a few backlinks from my interlinked sites. None of the traffic came from Google so I knew it was time to do some more investigating.
Into the Google search query box, I typed site: nameofsite.com to see if my site was still in the Google index. I was shocked when there were no results. That’s when I had a quick moment of panic. What? No results? How could that be? Was my site banned? I then happened upon a link to sitetrackr.com which provided quite a bit of info on my new site.
It shared the fact that it had no page ranking (which I knew), and that the site was indexed not only in Google, but in Yahoo and Bing too. So, I clicked on their links to see that my site had not been banned. Apparently, I had typed the query incorrectly. I should have typed site:nameofsite.com. I inadvertently inserted a space between the colon and name of site.
After breathing a sigh of relief, I did a little more snooping to see exactly where my site landed in the Google search engine results. It previously landed either on the first or second page. Now I didn’t find a hint of my site until page # 15. As a matter of fact, it was the first entry on the 15th page. This is affectionately known as the Google Sandbox. Just to make sure, I used the Sandbox Checker tool and it confirmed my suspicions.
Gathering a Few Sandbox Toys
While my new site is in the sandbox, I get a chance to accumulate a few sandbox toys. I’ll continue to add content to my sandboxed site because I’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to content for the site. In addition to adding content, I’ll write a few articles and place them on some of my other income generating sites for backlinking (I know, folks say that you should write free articles for backlinking purposes, but I’m hard pressed at this point in the game to write free articles…been there done that and wasn’t too pleased with the results).
I fully believe and expect the site to come out of the sandbox. However, while it’s there I can work on site number 3. Originally I had set a goal of 4 new sites this month, but I forgot about spring break. I also didn’t think that I would truly enjoy the topic of site # 2 so I spent more time there than I had originally allocated.
Keep Busy – Avoid Dwelling
I’m not happy about my site being sandboxed, but as I read a nice piece written by Mark Doust called entitled Google’s Giant Sandbox, I felt a lot better. There are things I can control and things I can’t. I’ll continue to do the best I can with site number 2, but in order not to dwell on my sandboxed position, I’ve decided to start working on site number 3.
Recap of My Post-Panda Efforts
Site # 1: I think it can be classified as a full fledged bomb. I created site number 1 in the last week of March and in total it had 51 page views and earned $0. Not only that, I didn’t enjoy writing content for the site. I think my major problem with that site is that I attempted to sell a product. I obviously have a lot of work to do when it comes to affiliate marketing. I think I went about it all wrong.
Site #2: (pre-sandbox stats) was created on April 1, has a little over 1,600 page views and earned just shy of $70. I thoroughly enjoy writing content for it and will continue sandbox or not. This site is an informational site. I’m not selling a product, just doing the research and providing information to folks who otherwise would have a difficult time finding the information.
Site # 3: I’m not too thrilled with the subject matter for site #3, but the Money Matrix keyword game told me it should be a money maker so I’ll give it a shot. I loaded money onto my Textbroker account and have been threatening to hire writers for the content, but have yet to write the specs for what I want. Guess today is as good a day as any to write up those specs.
As you can see, my efforts are so-so. How are yours coming along?
Sandbox Update 5/9/2011: Every two days or so I would check for my site in Google. It seems that it went to page infinity minus one and then started coming back. It hovered around page 12 for a day or two then page 7 then page 3 then finally the site is now on page one of the search results.
While it was in never-never land I continued to add new and unique content once or twice a week. I didn’t change my strategy and don’t intend to. How long will it remain on page one? Who knows. All I know is that I’m going to continue doing what I do and Google will do what it does.