The Google Sandbox is a Not a Nice Place to Be

Have you ever been in the Google sandbox?

  • Pass the bucket and spade and we'll play
  • Thankfully no
  • I don't know, how can you tell?
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Google's sandbox is not a nice place to be at all, and I should know. At the time of writing this, I have been there for over six month.

Of course,'the sandbox' isn't a place at all, and I am not actually in it, but I am suffering the 'sandbox effect' as it is called.

Basically, one day I had loads of traffic and earnings, and the next day it stopped. Just like that! Two years work down the drain.

Google simply stopped sending me traffic.

Bye bye Izzy!

Actually, they didn't even say goodbye, they just dropped me, like a jilted lover at the altar. The sacrificial lamb is probably a better simile.

I still got love from theother search engines, but not from Google, and let's face, 80% of our target audience uses Google.

Sandbox checker tools

Forget them!

They cannot possibly know what your previous SERPS position was, or what traffic you have had or even have now. They are a CON, to try to get you to buy something. If you don't believe me, and have a site or blog that is doing well, check and see what they say.

Chances are, they will tell you that you are in the sandbox., when you know you can't be.

Sandbox checker tools are at best a bit of fun, at worst, they can frighten you into believing something that isn't happening.

Signs and Symptoms of the 'Sandbox Effect'

  1. Your Google traffic dries up, suddenly.
  2. You may still rank highly for a few hubs, and get sent Google traffic, but a lot less than before.
  3. Your other hubs either fall from page 1 to page 2, 3 or lower, or they disappear from the SERPS (possibly to page 500, but who checks that far!), but your pages are still indexed.
  4. You still rank highly in the other search engines.
  5. Copied content of your work ranks higher than your original stuff.
  6. You can't find a block of your own text in Google.
  7. What little traffic Google send is the WRONG traffic. You can see on Analytics the search terms used, and you know they do not relate to your hub or site, and that the searcher will bounce out straight away.
  8. Your domain or subdomain is new (less than a year old).

Backlinking and why webmasters do it

Backlinks are supposed to be organic and natural. Backlinks are other sites linking to yours, to say "what a great site".

Even if your link is apparently hidden behind an image or text, Google's spiders see it and if there are a few, they'll consider your site to be a quality site, and push it up higher in the SERPS. (search engine results pages).

While it seems to be acceptable today to go out and get yourself some 'false' backlinks (in the sense that another site never linked to you, you linked yourself to them), the real spammers get themselves thousands upon thousands of spammy looking backlinks.

You know the type that leaves inane and nonsensical comments on your blog with a link back to their site?

Enough of them and their site will do very nicely, thankyou! (I delete them from my blogs - if they can't be bothered to come and read and leave an insightful comment, then I can't be bothered not pressing the trash button).

What causes the 'Sandbox Effect'?

No-one really knows the exact mechanism, and even Google denies they do it, but a few years ago, some right chancers were putting up really spammy sites - the type you would click out of right away if you landed on one. Full of Flash adverts loaded with malware and no content to speak of, or maybe just full of adverts and very little content. Poor sites though, that Google would never rank highly.

But these webmasters knew how to game the system. They knew every black hat technique to push their spammy low quality sites to the top of the search engines where they made a financial killing.

Google knew one of their techniques involved obtaining a lot of backlinks in a very short space of time.

This is why, today, if you go out to get yourself some backlinks to improve your rankings, for Goodness sake, don't get too many, too quickly, because Google looks out for that behaviour in a site, and will penalize you.

Google eventually caught up with those cheating webmasters, and de-indexed them, but they didn't bother.

Next day they had a brand new site up, added thousands of backlinks to it using spammy software, and they were back at the top of the SERPS.

They were making a fortune, and didn't care if Google de-indexed them so they had to start again. I mean, we are looking back to the dot com millionaires era, which seems to be gone and buried now, but at the time, some people made a fortune in a very short space of time by gaming the system.

So, Google very quietly brought out a new algorithm.

Anyone with a new domain or subdomain, who seemed to gather an inordinate amount of links in a very short period, were put in the sandbox for a period of time.

It was solely to stop the spammers, though it has caught out quality sites too in its time.

In Google's way of thinking, if you are in it for the long haul, you will wait it out, because it does pass.

If you are a spammer, you will give up and go away.

So, if you have a new domain (the spammers buy second-hand domains these days), or a new subdomain like we all got at Hubpages, AND Google sees a huge amount of inbound links that it wouldn't expect to see in a new site, you are at risk of having the 'sandbox effect' applied.

It matters not that those links were there already, nor that your main domain has just split into subdomains. Google is a computer, although I'm told real people work there too - they just seem to be totally inaccessible when something like this goes wrong with a site.

They don't care anyway. There are millions of sites out there. Can you imagine how many staff they would need to man help-desk if they ever opened one? Not that it's likely to happen.

How long does the sandbox last?

The only good news to come out of all this is that the sandbox effect does not last longer than a year, according to everyone that has been there in the past.

It can indeed last only a few days. No-one knows the exact criteria for getting out of it, or if there even is one, but it does seem incredibly unfair that some people are there for days, or even hours, while others, like me, are there for months.

I had heard that 3 months was the typical stretch, so I eagerly awaited that first 3 month anniversary. Nothing.

Then I read six months was more typical for the sandbox to be lifted.

Six months came and went. We were starting to throw the sand out of the pram by this time, and hitting each other with rattles. (I'm not in here alone, didn't I mention that?)

It's been seven months now - only 5 more to go! (Fingers, toes and eyelashes crossed!)

What is Google Panda?

Panda is the code name of a new algorithm Google wrote and released on February 2011. Hubpages was badly affected. My own traffic crashed by 50%, but by July when the subdomains were implemented, my traffic was slowly crawling back up.

Google continues to release updates to it, many so minor you wouldn't notice, but about once a month someone's traffic goes up or down significantly, although it nearly always balances back out within few days.

Many people have suggested changes to make to hubs, assuming the Google slap is a slap, a warning to make changes or else. I have made many changes to no avail.

When you are in the sandbox, it doesn't matter what you do.

Google will lift it when they lift it, and all you can do is to keep writing and re-inforcing the hubs you already have.

Google Panda and the Sandbox are entirely different entities

For the longest time, I thought, like others, that this was an effect of Google Panda.

My crash, or plunge, or whatever you care to call it, happened on August 10th, 2011, the same date a lot of us saw a change in traffic patterns, because a Panda update had been released around about that time.

My subdomain was 3/4 weeks old. My traffic had recovered from the effects of Panda with the move to subdomains, and was soaring to heights I had never seen before.

I was earning good money, getting better daily, and was just a few dollars short of what I actually needed to live on. I could see my goal within my grasp.

I was writing hubs like a demon to catch the flow. Everything I wrote was hitting good search engine traffic from the moment of publication.

That might have kicked off the sandbox effect, perhaps something there gave me too many incoming links.

The way Hubpages is set up, when we were all under the one domain, every hub you publish is immediately given backlinks, through the Hubpages domain.

You see the 'related hubs' section on your pages? Your hubs are similarly linked on 6 other hubs (not the same ones that are linked to yours).

Before the subdomains came in, these were internal links, which are not as powerful as external links, although they are still powerful.

You also got internal links from the category section, or the hot hubs sections, or the feeds your hubs joined through the tags, so that's a nice wee booster to get a new hub off the ground.

With subdomains, however these links changed to the more powerful external links, which are the ones Google look out for in new domains, and which can set off their alarm systems.

I wrote about 30 hubs between changing over to subdomains, and getting my account slapped.

That is well over 200 new external links in a very short period of time. I don't actually know exactly how many. It could be 1000.

Who knows if that is what caused my account to be hit with the 'sandbox effect'?

Google Penalty

I don't have a Google penalty applied.

I know that because I went into Google Webmaster's tools and filled in an a re-inclusion request form, and they wrote back and told me there was no penalty applied.

This guy in the video above bought links, and look at the problems he has now.

Do not buy links!

In fact, I do no backlinking at all, and haven't for a long time (over a year), although I did used to backlink to the likes of shetoldme, redgage etc. I doubt if those are responsible for the sandbox effect being applied. There are simply too few of them.

For those of you who have been in the sandbox, did it last....?

  • more than a week
  • more than a month
  • more than 3 months
  • more than 6 months
  • more than a year? (bites nails nervously)
See results without voting

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Comments 146 comments

PaulGoodman67 profile image

PaulGoodman67 4 years ago from Florida USA

If it is indeed the sandbox effect that is causing your problems, I hope that you get out soon.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I do think it is, and not Panda. It is just a matter of waiting. I am fed up waiting all the same!


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 4 years ago from Malaga, Spain

That sounds like a perverse form of Google 'limbo' that would drive me crazy if I wrote for profit!

Hope they recognise that you write solid hubs that work and release you soon.

Ironically, my traffic has been climbing steadily since I started following HubPages advice on stuff!

John


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Glad to hear it John! I followed some of their advice, then stopped, because it made no difference whatsoever. Nothing I do seems to change anything, which is partly why I think it is the sandbox, plus I have all the signs and symptoms as outlined above.


Sophia Angelique 4 years ago

Izzy, I've done two purges from my hubs. In total, I've probably written about 250 hubs but only have 175 at the moment. I'm not sure if this affected my traffic positively or not. Is there any way you can ask hub team if, in their opinion, there is something that can be fixed up. I have always found hub team to be helpful. :)

But I agree, when one has put so much effort into doing things, it really is the pits to have them not work - especially when one has no feedback as to why.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Hub team do not know how to get out of the sandbox anymore than I do. Clean-ups etc help if you have been hit by Panda, but do nothing for the sandbox.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

Very good description of the "sandbox" effect, Izzy. And you are correct about HP staff not being able to help much with this aspect of the big G's own impulses.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Izzy, you and I have had a very similar experience. In fact, it's funny that I had just started a hub on my time being sandboxed. For me, it happened almost immediately in the beginning of December 2011. So it's been just under three months for me. I went from getting about 1000 views a day, to about 40/day. And it just dropped like that.

I did use Social Monkee, too, and I wondered if that was somehow considered spammy. But my heart goes out to you. Pass me a shovel!


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Randy I know you are one of those affected. It would be interesting to know how many of us actually are.

Prairieprincess, I am so sorry to hear you're with us in the sandbox. I also used Social Monkee, but not for a long time. I backlink my own sites and they have not been hit, then again, they are not on this platform that already has a huge number of links. Carry on and write that hub, we all have different experiences to share.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

I don't believe my penalty is for backlinking at social sites as I've never spent any time doing so other than the FB/Twitter thingie when I publish a hub. I can't speak for those who do use these type services, however.

SSSSS


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

As my other subdomain has just come out of the sandbox, though it could be briefly - who knows? This subdomain went in there without any added backlinks at all. In fact, I didn't know it was in the sandbox until it came out! All I have there are hubs, good quality I think, with well-researched articles, much like this acount.


Sophia Angelique 4 years ago

Izzy, I've come to have a very fatalistic attitude about these things. One just cannot control some things. It would be nice to understand the cause and effect of these things, but sometimes, that's never going to happen. Like you, I just keep on writing and doing the best I can. Some day, just maybe, our efforts will be rewarded!


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Yes, I have no choice but to accept my fate now, because there seems to be no way out of the sandbox. That is why I started other subdomains, and new blogs, and continue to publish on this account too.


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 4 years ago from Sydney

Izzy, I've said this before but I do think it's important. You can't be sure whether it's the sandbox or Panda, it's only an educated guess. If it IS Panda, adding new content to the sub-domain is just throwing good material after bad, because it will never recover unless you revise/purge your "low quality" content (which as you know is difficult, since you don't know what it is).

So wouldn't it be better to wait till the end of your 12 months before adding new stuff, just in case you're wrong?


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 4 years ago from San Antonio Texas

Izzy the videos were really enlightening. Hope this ends soon. Hats off to you for keeping at it. After the nose dive last Feb, I only published 2 hubs during HP's 6 month penalty period.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Marisa, I'm sure you are right, but I tick all the boxes for the sandbox effect. I have started several new subdomains and am in the process of experimenting with different writing and SEO styles, but of course it will take a while before results are clear. I haven't written much on this account for a while, then put two up between today and yesterday. Guess old habits die hard!

Rosemary, I searched a while to find decent videos on the topic, after I had written this hub. I kept publishing through HP's penalty period, but not as many, and my traffic had been on the rise by the time subdomains came in - certainly more than double what I get now. Every day, I hope things change. I have no doubt they will one day.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

You know, I really wish that you and Randy would stop kicking your dirty sand into my bit of the box! LOL! Much as I will be really happy to hear that you guys have been evicted from the sandbox, I'm beginning to have nightmares that when that happens I will be in here alone forever with just a bucket and spade to keep me company! Its been very demotivating, but I have learned to resist the temptation to write hubs in that account. I think the hardest thing is that it can make you doubt your own abilities as a writer and feels that it has undermined all the hard work and hours that you have put in.

Meanwhile, other people are still nicking the content and ranking higher???


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

yes that stolen content bit really gets on my nerves, especially when you file a DMCA with Google and they take action. So they know your work is original, and still rank the others above yours until you complain and get them taken down. You will not be left alone in the sandbox, your work is great! You've got to start believing in yourself. THIS IS NOT OUR FAULT! We are innocent victims caught up in a web set for someone else, and it will pass.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

Interesting poll results, Izzy! It makes one wonder just how many hubbers are now going through the sandbox effect with us. HP staff posts seem to indicate it is a relatively minor percentage of us, but your poll suggests differently. Perhaps we need a few more polls to get to the real truth concerning this situation?


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I put the poll right at the top in the hope that hubbers would respond to it. I see only 12 have so far, I would really like to know how many people are affected too. Could you maybe stick this hub in your feed to try to and attract more hubbers to poll?

Just checked quantcast, and the success stories. The site sees an average of 600,000 views a day, and the success stories alone make up 130,000 of it. There are 14 hubbers there, and there are thousands of users, so a LOT must be earning nothing or next to nothing. I know a few hubbers who are getting 10,000+ too, that are not on any list.


Sophia Angelique 4 years ago

Actually, thinking about this, Google doesn't owe anyone anything. They can do exactly what they like and how they like. It's their company. Very, very few people earn anything worth earning on the web - comparatively. Only a small percentage of people who try, do. But that's the same in the real world.

I think the important thing is not to put all one's egg in one basket - the basket of Google. That is difficult right now because Google just about influences everything, but there has to be a way around. It's thinking of it that is the difficult part!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

Correct, SA! The same can be said for the oil and pharmaceutical companies who are dominating their markets and making the rules. It's legal--but is it ethical? That's another story entirely.

Unregulated capitalism at its best--or worst--depending on which side of the big bucks you're on. Spending or earning, that is! :)


Sophia Angelique 4 years ago

Randy, um, yes. I've given up talking about unregulated capitalism. The people who know about it don't have to hear about it, and the people who don't know about it don't want to know about it.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Right guys, back on track, added in another poll that should show us some accuracy. The 'less than a week' people must have been hit by a Panda effect, not the sandbox.


PaulGoodman67 profile image

PaulGoodman67 4 years ago from Florida USA

Sorry to dissent, but I'm with Marissa (and the HP staff) on this issue. I think she's given you very good advice. Ignore it at your own peril! methinks.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

How long were you sandboxed, Paul? And what did you do to get out?

SSSSS


Sophia Angelique 4 years ago

Izzy, I'm curious. What is your hubscore average. Mine is 75 and I keep it hovering around there. I delete anything that brings my score down too much. I'm not sure how the score is computed but I think HP must have some method that is fairly relevant. So, for me, it does contribute to my decision whether to scrap a hub or keep it. If it's still got a low score after a month or two, I delete it.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I ignore hubscores, they have absolutely no relevance to the search engines. HP tends to score some hubs highly, but they never get traffic, and others that can be seeing 1000s of views can get a low score.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Paul, its easy for someone whose account is not sandboxed to suggest it's this, or suggest it's that. I have already purged a good number of hubs, and re-written others and its made completely no difference at all. I wrote the hubs in the new subdomain in exactly the same way, because that is how I write, and its traffic has recovered. I have three other subdomains coming along with no problems so far, but I am very slow at writing hubs on them because there are so many. Again this suggests something to me, and it isn't Panda.


Sophia Angelique 4 years ago

Izzy, it's not about traffic. I'm assuming that hubscores take Google parameters of some sort into consideration. What I've noticed that is hubscores go up according to the price of the advertising keyword. I don't know how they ascertain them, but I'm sure there is reason in their madness.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

At the end of the day, they work off an internal algorithm and should have no bearing whatsoever on how Google views them. Many of my hubs are in the 60s and 70s and still do well in all the other search engines except for Google. My overall score isn't high, but I don't think it is related, because my overall score has remained constant, and was the same even when I was getting loads of traffic from Google.


SmartAndFun profile image

SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

Great information, Izzy. Very helpful and relevant, and thoroughly explained, even for a non-technical person like me. I appreciate it.


Sophia Angelique 4 years ago

So Izzy, what would happen if you removed the hubs that had low scores?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

I removed some of mine, SA. Nothing noticeable at all in my traffic to date. One cannot reason with bots! Nor anyone else at Google, for that matter. It's an internet business "thang"! Content writers are at the mercy of content writing sites and search engines.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Hi SA, I think you'll find that all of us in the sandbox have removed hubs, tweaked hubs, rewritten hubs, removed Amazon capsules, moved images, added videos, changed titles - in fact grabbed at every straw that has been dangled. I'm not sure it is about hubscore - my hubber score was 99 a few days ago, and when I was still writing hubs just before Christmas it would regularly go to 100, and like Izzy I have lower scoring hubs that get traffic and hubs with high scores that don't.

Maybe one day we'll find out the reasons, but for now I've moved on to other writing projects. I'll let this account sit and it will bounce back or it won't.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

True, CM! Some merely find it hard to believe unless they experience it themselves. I suspect it is really none of our fault at all, merely Big G's stupid jerking us around. I wish I knew who's ass to whup in this situation! lol!


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

@Sophia, I tried it, nothing at all happened. I tried at first just unpublishing, but now I have just removed the lowest scoring ones. (and still nothing). I have rewritten quite a few, added more relevant text and videos. Added in external quality sites, did all the things people suggested. Just to some hubs you understand. If I'd seen a difference, I might have felt motivated enough to go through the rest. But..nothing. Just like Randy and CM, nothing I do changes things. That is the whole point of this hub, which is actually in reply to a question by Louis, this is the sandbox.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Anyway, we cannot change things. Until Google lifts its penalty we stay in the sandbox, and play. Well I played Santana tonight, and maybe tomorrow will publish the hub that I wrote about them. Samba Pa Ti, anyone? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teRiRdu9J1g

Just like this hub, not keyword researched, this is for us, not for Google :)


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

HA! Good for you Izzy! Back in my professional music days my band really loved doing Santana stuff. Ah, good memories! :)


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I'm still listening to them. I didn't know they did the song called 'Smooth' which the local radio station here play, a lot. I've also got another hub coming for those who don't seem to know the difference between the sandbox and Panda. On this account. Tsk! Oh well, its for us hubbers, not for Google!

I didn't know you were a musician? Kudos!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

I'm sure there were some who didn't think I was a musician even when I made my living at it, Izzy! LOL! Yep, I did it for a few decades and still play for my own enjoyment and for friends now and then. Rock and Roll! :)


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I don't have my music bar anymore. Pity, I could have booked you! Your name highlighted in CHALK, how good is that! Sorry that is a bit of a joke round the Benidorm circles, the pubs and clubs attract a huge number of ex-superstars. I didn't know The Drifters had 130 ex-members, did you?

As an aside to that, through my bar I met many people who were famous 30 years ago, but who today people ask "who?" I was still in awe, all the same.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

Cool, Izzy! Your music bar sounds like it has left some happy memories for you. HA! On the drifters reference! I've met a few famous folk in my time too in the music business.

Percy Sledge was a close friend of one of our band members and we saw him and other great names often when they would perform at the club where we were the house band. A really fun business sometimes!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I have shared this on my Facebook wall, Izzy and voted up! I didn't even know about this.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

@Randy - them were the days!! lol Percy Sledge? I'm impressed!

@Bard, thanks for sharing it, this hub will not be of interest to many people outside of Hubpages, but I really would like more hubbers to come and visit and vote. I'd love to see the poll show a true reflection of how many of us are in the sandbox.


Cameron Corniuk profile image

Cameron Corniuk 4 years ago from Painesville, OH

Hmmm...this makes so much sense with what just happened to me. I hadn't really investigated the sandbox, because I hadn't been there before, but now...it's starting to come together.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Sorry to hear you are there with us, Cameron. Still, we should be out of it soon - another 5 months maximum.


Sophia Angelique 4 years ago

Hi Izzy. You got me interested in the topic and I read this:

http://www.webduckdesigns.com/pages/website-resour...

Interesting. However, it's more about sites that have just started out and that seems to be the definition of the sandbox effect.

I also think this lady hits the nail on her head. She says nobody ever asks Google why they gave them the traffic in the first place. They only ask why they lost it.

http://hubpages.com/community/suddenly-lost-google...

I quote "What seems to happen is that Google just rotates the spots in the top 10 among similar content."

I think this might be true because I've seen this with some of my earlier articles. They peak, then drop traffic, then peak again. However, it might also have something to do with the time of the year. Not sure yet.


Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 4 years ago

I have seen the pattern on HP that Google or HP itself is rotating or taking turns giving hubbers some traffic. I've done everything that Google and HP advised and it just doesn't make any difference.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Sophia, these aren't the best sites I've seen describing the exact problem some of us are facing, but I can't seem to find the ones I read at the moment!

@Stacie, I don't believe for a minute this has anything to do with rotating traffic, else we would not have some hubbers never see anything but a rise in traffic.

I honestly do think this is the sandbox effect, brought about by the introduction of subdomains. We are all affected differently because we all have different inbound and outgoing links.


Cameron Corniuk profile image

Cameron Corniuk 4 years ago from Painesville, OH

I don't know. I've got great spots for some low level (read: non-competitive) keyword phrases and I stay steady where I'm at for them. What I do find interesting, however, is the thought on internal vs. external links. It got me thinking and I started re-reading some of my info here, and supposedly, sub-domains are still considered internal, because they share an IP address. I remember we had this problem with some other sites we were working with, each promoting one another in the traditional wing style. They were totally different domains, but the links were carrying barely any weight. So, we moved the domains to different hosts and saw an immediate spike. Of course, it is impossible to actually prove, but I was under the impression it was accurate.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

"So, we moved the domains to different hosts and saw an immediate spike." - that is very interesting. Unfortunately, we won't be able to do anything like that, but still...


CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 4 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

Really good hub, explaining how the sandbox works- I was in it for two months and then suddenly released after doing little in the way of adjustment- I unpublished 3 hubs but only because they were political type comment of the General election that were really past their sell by date.

Like you say you know you are in the sandbox when your Google traffic dries up suddenly- for me a 90% fall in traffic overnight. I have heard that it strikes only once, but I check regulary analytics, just in case.

Glad your other account is bouncing back and hopefully this one will too- it will be a really happy day when you and CMHypno and others get out of the pit- I have no idea why I was let out early-


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Never look a gift horse in the mouth! So glad you got out early, and hopefully the rest of us will do soon too :)


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

I think that I am too new to be in the sandbox, or maybe I've been in one and just not known. It does sound like a disappointing and horrible experience, so I think I'd rather not know if I am in one, until I am out of it. I wish you the best and hope you get out soon.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

That's like my other account. It was sandboxed too, but I didn't actually know until I came out of it, which it did a few days ago. But I wish this one would come back out!


CZCZCZ profile image

CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

ouch Google Sandbox is no fun, i had that happen to me on a website and it took several months until it finally stopped. Was an interesting read and voted up this hub as it is good info for everyone on hubpages.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks, I do think a lot more people are in the sandbox with me, though they may not realise it yet. Sorry to hear you have experienced it too.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Wow, I'm so sorry you've suffered from the sandbox effect. I can't even get approved for google AdSense, so I understand the frustration of no one at google to resolve the issues. I hope you can get out of it quickly!


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Sorry to hear you're having trouble getting an Adsense account, that must be pretty awful too.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Yes, I'm super frustrated! Google's not all it's cracked up to be, but we just have to wait it out like you said. Don't give up...keep writing your great hubs!


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you so much! I am working on other subdomains I started, because after publishing about another 100 hubs, nothing is changing. At least my new hubs are getting Google traffic on my new accounts, even if not here on this one. Fingers crossed your problem will work out too!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

I admire your persistence and I really feel the problem will work itself out eventually. Hang in there and I'll do the same!


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Hey thanks again. I see from your profile that you are a novelist looking for an agent. While I can't help with that side of things, let me know when you do get published and I will include your book on my best selling books site which is on Google's front page (unlike my hubs!)


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Thank you IzzyM. That's positive thinking! I definitely hope to get published someday but am taking it one step at a time. I really appreciate the offer. : )


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

You're welcome! you can always self-publish, you know. Quite a few hubbers have published e-books. Sophia Angelique, who posted above, has some How-To hubs on the subject.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Thanks for the tip! I'll look into it.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

The sandbox doesn't sound like a nice place to play anymore...at least for us hubbers. I never even heard about it and have no idea if my lower views are due to that or simply Panda. I have never purchased a backlink so that can't be part of anything happening. As far as getting rid of hubs already written, has that helped much? Good luck!


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I've tried everything Peggy. Got rid of hubs, re-wrote hubs, added content...nothing works. I am still down about 80% of my former traffic. Going on 7 months now.


jenubouka 4 years ago

Probation?! Geez I did not commit a crime, and let me tell you I will throw my chef hat back on and flip Google the bird if that happens! I already had my go around being on probation and no search engine has that right. Wouldn't you think if it was a site like HP and all your content was original consistently they would know? Figures. Rumor has they have hired "actual" people to view the sites.

At any rate, this hub was amazing, filled with easy to understand info on the almighty and many queried Google. I will also cross my fingers, and any other part that will cross in the fast recovery of your "sandbox"

I know will lie awake at night that I too, anticipate this, I am always "that guy"

Again, awesome.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks jenu. Still no sign of things getting better. On the bright side, they can't really get much worse! Sometimes innocents like me get caught in their crossfire, I'm afraid. Just have to accept it. I prefer using duckduckgo as a search engine. Much faster and more accurate. And they don't spy on you!


jenubouka 4 years ago

Good to know, I will have to check them out!

All the best.


American_Choices profile image

American_Choices 4 years ago from USA

Izzym,

This was exceptional. I have been blown away so often. It is extremely frustrating. I have split my HP accounts and two such as this one as doing well. The original one is in the tank so bad that I just unpublished over 25 hubs that weren't generating traffic.

I was using RSS feeds and perhaps too much - this is the only item I can see that may have slammed that account.

Recently I tried creating new RSS feeds and I found it wasn't working. Apparently, HP felt some RSS feeds were hurting us and disabled the creation of unique tags. Very wise on HP's part but it took me forever to figure it out. The old unique RSS feeds I created are still working but I cannot create new ones. Perhaps there was a relationship also with your dramatic drop?


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Remember RyanKett wrote a hub about that? He has since unpublished it, so he must have changed his mind. I still have a lot of rss feeds with the unique tag, but any I do now are the HP way (link in the learning center). At that time, it was thought that the rss feeds created duplicate content, and so I reduced all my feeds to first sentence only, but of course if it is the linking, then the same problem will still be there. Now I could go remove all the feeds, but will it take me out of the sandbox? It could have taken me out earlier if indeed the rss feeds were seen by Google as the straw that broke the camel's back, (yet heavier interlinking), I might try that, though it seems to be a lot of work, especially if I can't replace them at a later date(as you seem to suggest). These feeds are promoted off site. Removing and then finding I can't put them back will create a lot of work for me, as well as causing a lot of 'broken links' out there. It's certainly worth considering all the same.


ar.colton profile image

ar.colton 4 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

This is great information! Voted up and sharing. I love learning new things about marketing your own hubs and traffic and...anyway it's stuff I don't really understand but you made it sound very simple. Thanks!


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Hope you never find yourself in the sandbox! Thanks for reading, if your Google traffic suddenly disappears, you'll know why.


SMD2012 profile image

SMD2012 4 years ago

Thanks for the Hub IzzyM! I'm bookmarking it to come back and read all the comments because I am sure there is even more to learn from others too. Voted Up, useful and shared. Have a great day! - Sarah


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Sarah, I think there is a very strong possibility many of us will find the sandbox effect applied inside the next year, because all newbies will find their hubs in the sandbox at one time or another (up until their subdomain is 1 year old).


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

I'm wondering if many others aren't being sandboxed but don't post on the forums. I'm still very low traffic wise. And I've received another 7 day ban, ostensibly for the "Auras" thread where I said fart! LOL! At least that was the thread they listed as being ban worthy!

Is your traffic any better?

SSSSS


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Damn but I missed that thread! No my traffic is a waste of space, so there we are, 7 months into Seventh Hell, and the only traffic I get is from HP, Bing and Yahoo.

I'm away to look up Auras!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

Ha! I also just noticed HP removed 3 of my accolades from my profile page too! LOL! I'm no longer a writer who writes engaging hubs! They must've read them aloud! LOL! What a joke dealing with the Hall Monitors has become!

SSSSS


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

That made me go look at my profile and there seems to be accolades missing, but I couldn't tell you what exactly. I'm not worried, it's an algorithm, not a person. And they have nothing to do with not getting Google traffic, thankfully. At least I think not.....


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

Perhaps not, but things seem to happen to me in bunches these days! I still don't know which post I'm banned for, but then, I never do! LOL! They've quit telling me the exact post and leave it to me to decide for myself. Ah well, I don't think I'm long for this place! :)

SSSSS


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

You just need to learn when to zip it LOL. Obviously someone has it in for you, but that staff are agreeing which is not a good sign. I couldn't see any post specifically either to be worthy of a banning, if that's any help.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

Ha! That is the problem, Izzy! it's difficult for me to post butterflies, rainbows, and ponies, when it's actually bullsh*t, and butt*oles I'm responding too! LOL! I've always had a problem glossing things over when they actually suck. I'm too old to change at this point! :)

SSSSS


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I still don't see where anything you posted on that thread deserved a banning! It all seems very unfair. Still, leaves you time to get on with other things, I suppose, so look on the bright side!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

Fairness is something I've grown not to expect from HP staff any longer, Izzy! I have little respect for them at this point. I don't believe they care at all about the writers here. Typical content farm employees, from my experience dealing with several such sites. Who cares, though!

SSSSS


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

If only the sandbox would be lifted, they could do what they liked. We'd be too busy writing new hubs to be bothered forum posting much, but 7 months today and still nothing.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

My overall traffic has always been low so far outside of Hubpage views until the last month and a half. The overall numbers are still low, but outside traffic started to outnumber hubber traffic when I stopped publishing a new hub every three days. Way too busy now. And once a hubber has a read a hub, the hub is read. There is no need to return to the hub. Who knew all I needed to make Google views higher than HP was just to stop publishing more than once a week? Of course, I'm still getting only about 150 views total a day, so not wonderful. Just ironic.

I am nearing the first payout for $50.00 in a couple of months, (I think?)but with a lot of people getting banned from adsense I'm never sure but that I'll inadvertently do something just before getting my first payment and bam! No adsense account perhaps?


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Randy -I've been reading your comments. I've lost several badges following a hub I published I have lost my commentary badge totally (it is level zero), lost my forum badge, my engaging hub badge, and hubs create engaging conversation badge. I do know why I was put on probation, though I disagree with the reason. However, I don't care. I've hidden my accolades from view and have gotten to the point that nobody on this site, neiher fellow hubber nor staffer, can hurt me unless I let them. I *refuse* to let them.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Flora, nice to see you over here! Sounds like your traffic is doing just fine and building in numbers like it should. Don't worry about your adsense account, unless you are knowingly doing something you shouldn't, the chances are your account will be fine!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

@FloraBreenRobison-HA! I know why I've lost my accolades too. The day before I was banned I had words with Jason again and then was subsequently banned for the "Auras" thread for 7 days. I had asked Jason how I was accidentally banned during the "Elite" thread.

Of course he didn't answer as there was no good reason for that to happen other than they did not like the way the thread made them look. Just become an "Elite" if you want to get away with things others cannot. You don't even have to be literate to qualify! LOL!

HP doesn't like it when those with a high profile score and many accolades disagree with their policies, so they simply take them away. What nice folks we are in partnership with! LOL!

SSSSS


Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 4 years ago from Scotland

Terrific Hub Izzy. I didn't even know what the sandbox was. Something to watch out for as I'm trying to establish genuine backlinks

Thanks for an interesting and very readable Hub. You explain it so well


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I doubt if you will go into the sandbox now, not at this stage. Still, take care adding those backlinks - too many, too quickly sets off the alarms bells and they are likely to just discount them, rather than sandbox you. Let's face it, that is almost as bad - all that work for nothing! I hate backlinking, yet I get sandboxed through natural backlinks??


htodd profile image

htodd 4 years ago from United States

Thanks!! Great post.. nice


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

You're welcome, thanks for visiting!


DabbleYou profile image

DabbleYou 4 years ago

Nice share about your expreience with it. I hope I don't get sandboxed. It's just not fair, all your hard work down the drain. We all know that our published hubs are useless if no traffic ever come to it. Good luck and I'll be waiting to see when you get out of it.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks DabbleYou...still waiting lol, seems like forever. I have started new subdomains and they are doing alright.


Linkusbless 4 years ago

Hi well I just checked my traffic, 17 referrals from google w h o o - h o o! I've only been writing on hubpages for a couple of months and was wondering how one gets ANY traffic. Clearly I'm in this dreaded sandbox. I note however that the google bot spends sometimes over half an hour rummaging around on my blog indexing old posts and traffic on my blog has shot up, with google hits. That's great an all, but it's an upside down world, as I don't actually want random googlers, I want returning visitors. Thanks for the post. I finally got my adsense approved after linking it to my blog account, but with 17 referrals from google in 2 months, it's just as well my life does not depend on it!


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Referral traffic means someone found your hub through another article they were reading, perhaps on Google, maybe even on Hubpages, but not directly from their search engine.

Maybe from your blog? Traffic has shot up probably through an algorithm update that has increased the ranking of your blog - are any of your Hubpages linked from there?

At 2 months in, well its too early to say what the problem is, if any. I usually find it takes about 6 weeks to even start getting search traffic. I will check your hubs out and come back here to comment.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

"The Endgangerd Art of Doing Nothing" is your hottest hub. I don't expect anyone on the whole planet would search for this term, do you? Is that a typo or intentional?

You've also written about 'No Shoes for Horses'. I dunno, given enough time it may become a search term.

Apple cider vinegar as a miracle cure has potential, even if 3M people have already written about it. Try lengthening the hub by about 4 times its current length and you might be on to something!

Empathy 101, is that a search term?

I'm not putting you down, you actually write very well - better than me, probably, but you need to learn how to write for an online audience, not for an offline one. I may write a hub about that! Or maybe not, we'll see.


Linkusbless 4 years ago

Thanks very much for taking the time to read my hubs. I wonder that the google sandbox thing, (which I don't really understand, but considering I have had had only(strike)17(/stirke) 18 google hits in 6 or so weeks to hub pages, compared to my blog which is getting hundreds daily,) I am probably 'in' the sandbox at hubpages.

I suspect that posting hubs based on keywords is the reason google has triaged much of hub's contents. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but it's too cynical, too venal. Google has standards! And I'm not entirely sure I am being facetious with that statement.

Googling 'the endangered art of doing nothing' does not hit upon that hub, usually googling entire sentences from a post will take you straight to that post. And you're right, I seriously doubt that anyone would google it, that was not the point of writing it. I don't link to hubpages from my blog, I occasionally tweet my hubs.

That seems to be the problem for me, barely anyone, maybe 4 people 'follow' me on hubpages, google has got me languishing in some cyberspace 'sandbox'. But now is the time not to be too fussed about keyword, because it's not going to make any difference anyway. Yay!


Linkusbless 4 years ago

Sorry, I started editing that last comment while it was in moderation. Hubpages is weirdly backward . . . Anyway, google and hubpages, don't at present seem to be a comfortable fit.

Mercury retrograde. Gawd. Thanks again for having a look a my work.


Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 4 years ago

well I'm definitely in the sandbox.Its been three weeks and I'm still in the hole..


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Did you check out the check list Stacie? You have to suffer all of the effects to become one of us! But I do feel your pain.

Imagine it was 7 months and not just 3 weeks, and you may just start to understand what we feel. Your traffic has been up and down all along, going by your forum posts. While that is not a nice effect, it is better than seeing your traffic always down, because at least you got some highs. The only good news is that we all may come out of this, after the first year of subdomains is over, and settle down to steady traffic.


Talullah profile image

Talullah 4 years ago from SW France

Oh, crikey. I've only just joined and don't understand any of this! I'm still having trouble signing-up to Google Adsense. I shall re-read this comprehensive hub and study the videos as part of my learning curve here.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

It probably won't affect you much, because you start a new subdomain with low link levels, which will build naturally as you build more hubs and get involved with the site.

Many of us were part of the hubpages domain, which when we split into subdomains, suddenly gave us a huge number of incoming links and that is where the sandbox effect was applied, and it hurts! (I still don't understand why only some of us were hit this way) It should pass though, fingers crossed. Coming up 8 months and still there :(


JKenny profile image

JKenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

Hey Izzy, great hub. Sorry to hear that you're still in the sandbox. I'm still relatively new, but I've experienced a massive drop in google traffic. I'm not sure whether I have been placed in the sandbox; the drop occurred at the same time I started posting links to my hubs on reddit and facebook. Is there a correlation there? If I remove the backlinks will my traffic increase?


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

No correlation, just coincidence. It does sound like you are beginning to experience the traffic swings experienced by most hubbers after subdomains were introduced, and yes it is a sandbox effect, though not as serious as the ones suffered by Randy, me and others, because I expect your traffic will return in a few days, as has been happening with most people. I think these swings will stop after HP subdomains are 12 months old, though obviously won't know until that time is up. Welcome to the club :)


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Great hub Izzy. I had a big dip after Panda, then a significant rise after subdomains - now to be back to almost half of that (5,000 views a day to 2,000) And those few seem to be coming from only 2-4 of my hubs mostly. I feel I may have been sand-boxed too but hey what can one do except to keep on keeping on? This won't deter me from writing but does have me perplexed!


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I kept writing on this subdomain, but it is disillusioning to put all that work into hubs than no-one ever reads apart from a few hubbers. I have found that starting new subdomains is the answer. I've got one general subdomain just like this one, and the rest are niche accounts. I expect the road to their first birthday to be rocky, but at least the traffic losses will be spread out and not so devastating as the total loss I experienced on this account.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Izzy, what do you mean created more subdomains? Here at HP under another name?


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Yes I have several here on HP now. None of them forum post unless I do it accidentally which I try hard not to do. Those other subdomains are a lot more successful than my first hubs were, as I am able to apply the SEO knowledge I learned since to them, with good results. One day I hope to bring in $50 a month from each subdomain. I have a total of 7 so far so that'll be nice money if it happens, but if one or two sink like this one, I will still have some form of income. You should try it too, it's like a fall-back plan should your main name plunge.


moneytoplist profile image

moneytoplist 4 years ago

I have another experience with sandbox. I run a web hosting company and it was in the sandbox for more than 2 years. I believe (and many SEO marketers have the same opinion) that the sandbox duration depends on the niche of your website -- the more competitive niche the longer the sandbox effect lasts.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

OMG two years!!! How awful for you, but I am surprised because that is the longest I have heard of! That said, I had read that the more highly competitive your niche, the longer you will be there, yet I don't think it applies to this account because it covers a broad range of topics and I seldom write in highly searched and over saturated topics. Hope I'm not here two years, all the same !


American_Choices profile image

American_Choices 4 years ago from USA

Izzym,

This is excellent - I too, thought the sandbox and Panda were the same - had no idea.

The video is really helpful.

I am starting my own website up once again so this knowledge is helpful. Additionally, I just started with WordPress and all of this works together.

Keep up the great information. Always enjoy your work.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Hey thanks, and best of luck with your website!


mts1098 profile image

mts1098 4 years ago from InsideTheManCave

Excellent job explaining this crazy sandbox stuff...cheers and good luck staying out of the sandbox )


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks! I look forward to the day when I am finally out of the sandbox, unfortunately it hasn't happened yet :(


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 4 years ago from Michigan

Izzy, When hubpages set up the Ad program I began to make pretty money - but my google adsense account dropped to almost nothing. What is the difference between these two programs. Does the sandbox stuff affect only google adsense? Thanks for your help!

Mekenzie


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

The sandbox effect related ONLY to traffic and traffic sent by Google.com.

You have a different issue, that of the collapse of earnings from Google Adsense, and that is because with HPads on, you are only running 1 Adsense block, whereas before you were running three.

Add that loss to the lowered earnings Adsense seem to be offering these days, and you have a substantial drop.

HP ads is nice and steady earnings though, isn't it?


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Hi Izzy I'm back. I think I have been sand-boxed after re-reading your hub and watching that video again. I think it happened to happen when Penguin hit. My views went down to 600-700 views a day from 2,000- 2,500. It was mostly my most popular hubs that had high paying keywords. It has been about 6 weeks now and my traffic from Google has really dried up. Like you, I was just at the point where I was receiving a nice payout every month which was paying about half my life expenses. Now it feels like I'm back to where I started.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

It's unlikely to be the sandbox, Dorsi, because your subdomain - your site if you like - is almost a year old now, and the sandbox only seems to hit new sites. It's a weird Google thing, and your traffic will likely come back at the next update or two. Mine has still not returned, but my new accounts are doing OK so far.


talfonso profile image

talfonso 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

Thank goodness I'm not in the so-called "Google Sandbox!" I promote Hubs but I do so naturally by commenting and reading others' Hubs!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma

Izzy, I wondered what happened to you. That is a shame. I read somewhere that paying one of those companies like Quantcast or SocialMonkee was a bad idea. Google is cracking down on overuse of "fake" or "bought" backlinks.

I was too cheap to pay any of those services and perhaps it is a good thing in the end. Hopefully you won't be in the sandbox for too much longer. I would think a better analogy would be "in the corner" instead of "in the sandbox." I always considered the sandbox a fun place to be as a child.

I don't mean to make light of your situation but just thinking it needs a better name.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I hardly used SocialMonkee and it was hard work posting backlinks round the social sites as it meant writing fresh content - 100 to 300 words, each time. But I had not backlinked for months before I was sandboxed or slapped. I doubt if they were the cause somehow. Its been 10 months now, so hopefully it will be lifted soon. If not...its back to the drawing board.


sagebrush_mama profile image

sagebrush_mama 4 years ago from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound!

Since the one year anniversary of Aug. 10 has come, I'm wondering if you are seeing any improvements.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Emm...no. I gave it an extra couple of days because I had two days in September when traffic went ballistic but those days are used up too, so it looks like I was wrong about the sandbox. Come the end of August and no change, I am going to start unpublishing, starting with the hubs that have had the fewest views for longest. I'm still working out a strategy; there are that many that see no traffic. As far as I know, no-one else in the sandbox with me got their traffic back either, but I could be wrong there!


sagebrush_mama profile image

sagebrush_mama 4 years ago from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound!

Not seeing any improvements either. I had a mini surge in late May, went from 20 views per day to slightly over 100, that lasted 'til mid July. Working on other stuff, though, so I'll probably just leave my hubs to live their lives. :)


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

With 362 hubs, you should be seeing a lot more traffic than that!

In fact, the only time my traffic is raised is when it gets referrals from another subdomain (of mine) that is doing well. Google traffic stays away all the time. I might just ignore this subdomain too. I have made all the improvements I can think of, and nothing has worked.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Izzy - I enjoyed your article and understand more about the sandbox. It sounds like a terrible place to be. The article was easy to understand and has good references. My hope for all of us is to get more traffic. I decided to work on backlinks and use Pinterest in the meantime. I learned to put words on a picture. You probably know all about that. I hope that your parents are doing better and that you are having some good times. You write excellent articles and must be proud of your accomplishments. Take care.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks very much, Brakel, for your kind words and for taking the time to comment :) I wish I knew how to reverse the downward direction of my traffic. It can't be the sandbox after all as this has gone on for more than 12 months. I am actually considering that health hubs may be the culprit, seeing as another two of my subdomains have been slapped - one is completely health focussed, and the other, like this one, contains a lot of health-related articles. They are good and accurate articles, but perhaps something in Google's algo does not like health advice coming from a non-authority site such as this. It's a pity because as a health professional I know I can get some good advice out there.

My parents are slowly declining and I find myself doing more and more for them, leaving me less time to fret about Hubpages, which is no bad thing! Thanks for asking.


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 4 years ago from Malaga, Spain

Or perhaps BigPharma dislikes alternative health advice they do not control, they are BIG advertisers and have clout.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Gosh yes that is a really pertinent point! Need to do some digging here, but I don't think Randy Godwin wrote any health articles, did he? Need to check. His were more technical hubs relating to vehicles, perhaps he has stepped on the toes of another powerful lobby.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

My traffic returned on the 26th of September, about 12 months after my two-day spike in traffic the previous September, a month after my account appeared to get sandboxed. I don't expect it is here to stay, but it does back up all I wrote above, after all.

Oh and I unpublished all my health hubs a few days beforehand, so who knows?


Tealparadise profile image

Tealparadise 3 years ago

Thanks for updating via comment. I was wondering what the end result was! Really interesting hub - hope it is ranked as highly as it should be!


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

LOL, this hub is idled! Says it all really.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

Very interesting! I have very limited knowledge about all of this stuff as I am still learning. So, this article is invaluable to me. The whole copied content thing really bugs the heck out of me. I've never understood how someone can write an article about their own personal experience that they've actually lived through and had to deal with, and then someone else takes their information, posts it somewhere else, and it ranks higher up in Google. The catch 22 is that usually the copied stuff comes up #1 in Google. I saw this happen once where the copy cat actually admitted they had never been through that experience personally (but gets paid for copying it). So is this sort of the same thing as the google quicksand...Oh, I mean sandbox?


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

More or less. If any copied content ranks above yours, then the chances are your account has been sandboxed. The best thing to do it wait it out.

Mine has lifted now, because my hubs rank above the plagiarists again. Unfortunately, I de-optimized all my hubs (took out most of the keywords) to try and get Google traffic back, and now Google can't find my hubs to send traffic to! When I have time, I will replace them and see what happens.


nathalia27 profile image

nathalia27 2 years ago

Google algorithm is changing from time to time.


websearcher profile image

websearcher 2 years ago from New York

Google has dominated the search engine game. They can basically set the rules when it comes to web domain management. It would be a waste if you don't make use of the free traffic that google could give.


raquelle148 profile image

raquelle148 2 years ago

Thanks, Izzy! Honestly, I'm not much aware about sandbox though I'm asking myself why my rank is decrease. Now, I think I found an answer.


LosectinWinders 20 months ago

Izzy, you and I have had a very similar experience. In fact, it's funny that I had just started a hub on my time being sandboxed. For me, it happened almost immediately in the beginning of December 2011. So it's been just under three months for me. I went from getting about 1000 views a day, to about 40/day. And it just dropped like that.


LosectinWinders 20 months ago

Thanks for the Hub IzzyM! I'm bookmarking it to come back and read all the comments because I am sure there is even more to learn from others too. Voted Up, useful and shared. Have a great day! - Sarah


Jacobb9205 profile image

Jacobb9205 17 months ago from Gloucestershire

Hate when this happens! Great hub though!


randel9 profile image

randel9 12 months ago from United Kingdom

No one likes to be put into google sandbox. On other side, it teach us also to be cautious in our work and strive to work better.

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