One of the biggest fears that website owners have is that their site will not rank well in Google.Â When it comes to optimizing their site, many of them are afraid that if they build too many links in too short a time they will be penalized.Â This is a valid fear, because Google does actively penalize site owners who use unnatural link-building practices.
Many people seem to confuse unnatural link-building practices with what is commonly referred to as the "the Google Sandbox Effect."Â The Sandbox theory states that Google is biased against newer domains.Â It would make sense that Google would penalize newer domains.Â These domains often are throw away domains that are used for creating spam or illegal content.
The truth is that Google did not actually create a sandbox to penalize newer sites.Â Matt Cutts has stated that Google's algorithm is based off of trust rankings and that new sites are not given less trust because of their age.Â It simply takes time to gain trust, but trust rank is not directly tied to the age of a site.
Think of it this way:Â If you build a homepage or register a domain and wait a year to optimize the site, you will probably find that it will take you just as long as a site that was just registered.
Google does not want to see that you've left a site idle for six months and then suddenly had a couple thousand links appear overnight.Â Google's algorithm insists on reasonable link growth, but also requires that site owners have a substantial number of quality links in order to rank well.
This means that it will usually take time for webmasters to rank well for competitive keyphrases.Â It is human nature to be impatient and greedy.Â Webmasters want to build a site and rank with the leaders in the industry within a week of launching their site.Â The Google Sandbox seems to be an explanation people use when they simply don't want to put in the time and effort into optimizing their site effectively.
The danger of the Google Sandbox is that it has strangely influenced webmasters who are paranoid about being banned from the index.Â Many have claimed that they limit their link-building practices to 5 a day so that they don't become penalized.Â I laugh when I hear people say this and expect to ever rank their site.
Competition does not stand still.Â While they are using their 5 a day rule, their competitors are continuing to build links as well.Â Do they expect to topple their competition from the first page of the SERPs when they restrict themselves with such foolishness?
SEO is a very hot topic on the Internet, which means that it is bound to create a little bit of controversy and hype.Â People sometimes give into the hype and rumors in the SEO community to the point that they ignore Google's own claims.Â If Google tells people they don't penalize sites solely on the premise that they are new, why are people still insist on claiming the opposite?
The point of this article is not to suggest that you will be able to rank well in your keywords overnight.Â It is only to make it clear that you need to depend on a solid link-building strategy to make your site successful, rather than worrying about how old their domain is.Â In business all good things take time and SEO is certainly worth investing your time into.
Kalen Smith is the founder of Engineer-a-Business, a provider of business-to-business services and informational products for developing technology businesses. Read more about Kalen here.