In the not-too-distant past webmasters often had difficulty getting their sites listed in the Google index. They sometimes waited for weeks or months while Google let their sites languish in the sandbox. These days it’s much easier to get your site indexed, the sandbox is much less crowded and easier to escape, and more and more webmasters are realizing that maybe, just maybe, they’ve been bowing down to a god that doesn’t necessarily deserve their worship.
At one time, no site was automatically indexed on Google. They all went directly to the sandbox, where they remained until Google had time to give them a thorough review before allowing them membership in their exclusive club. The buzz then was all about how to avoid the Google sandbox or how to get out of it faster.
And it wasn’t just your root domain that languished in obscurity. No matter how awesome your content – and let’s face it, it’s only been within the last two years that webmasters have started really focusing on quality – the Google bots were still just learning their way around the Web and even individual blog posts or articles had to wait for review before they were included in the index.
With each new update, though, those bots have become much faster at detecting new content on the Web and it rarely takes more than an hour or two for new content to become visible for all the search engines. The Google Sandbox now is used primarily as a holding cell for sites that have been de-indexed after Google determined they had questionable content, such as spam or viruses or very low-quality content.
But today’s relatively easy, almost instantaneous inclusion on the Google index doesn’t mean you’re going to pop up at the top of the list. Now, instead of waiting patiently in the sandbox, you have to work to earn a better index position. And the main requirement is top quality content. At least, that’s what Google says on the Webmaster pages.
However, as Google continues to clamp down on webmasters, giving their bots seemingly empirical powers to control access on the Internet, more and more webmasters are realizing the value of diversifying their traffic sources. And it only makes sense. We’re all taught from a very young age that it’s never wise to carry all of your eggs in one basket, especially when you’re talking about your business.
Now, instead of focusing all of their efforts on pleasing those greedy little Google crawlers, more and more webmasters are starting to pay attention to the other search engines, as well. And they’re branching out into the social networks where Google has no control. Not everyone on the planet uses Google to search the Internet for information and it’s these searchers that webmasters are now courting.
Yes, getting your site listed on Google and staying out of their sandbox are still important concerns. But don’t make them you only concerns. Google is, after all, a profit-oriented business in a competitive marketplace. They’re huge but that doesn’t make them invincible. Take charge of your business and start extending your reach along multiple avenues of traffic. Then it really won’t matter what Google thinks and if they send you to the sandbox, so what? You’ll still have plenty of traffic coming in from all those other sources.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!