Sunday, November 20, 2011

Website Traffic Starvation 101 : Working Through The Google SandBox

When websites are in their infancy (and to Google that generally means ANY site less than a year old) - it can be rough going traffic-wise as your site ages and you struggle to build a quality back link profile. Maybe you initially got a bit of Google love that first month - and then found all those delicious keywords you ultimately want to rank for totally disappeared off of Goog's radar. Welcome to the sandbox that's NO FUN to play in!

Well there you have it: A Mac website owner's harsh day to day reality. Any traffic from Goog is utterly dwarfed by the daily dribble of Bing-Yahoo organic search results. You may actually find you're ranking well - on Page One of Bing-Yahoo - but the VOLUME of search from them (sadly) is... depressing.

Your website's lifeline may exist largely in that "(No referring link)" catch-all for many months to come. In an ideal SEO world, you should be striving to grow and build that No Referring Link traffic to the greatest percentage possible. Not all traffic passes referrer info to your website stats! This traffic can be real people directly typing in your URL, or those returning to your site from a bookmark, etc. It's your Safety-Net from the whims of organic search, forming a base level of traffic.

Hopefully, further down your Traffic Sources list you'll see at least some results from other blogs, forum posts, Squidoo/HubPages, Stumbles, Article distribution efforts etc. And the more of these the better. Cuz that SandBox isn't something you can 'decide' to get out of. It's depth and duration is controlled by Google - and your 'release' may occur in stages - or a single day.

It isn't fun waiting 3mo, 6mo, 9mo, a full year to begin to see a site's TRUE traffic potential with Google. You really can't 'backlink your way out' (Although it is an essential way to try to invite others INTO your sandbox to keep you company in the meantime.) Some claim you can 'Post your way out' by the sheer volume of long-tail keyword verbiage you might be able to generate. Well-written content certainly will serve you well over the long haul, regardless.

Some interesting points about the SandBox: Certain data centers or Countries may allow a bit of Google traffic to come through. Or ONLY really, really obscure, bizarre long-tail keywords may show up. Hence the occasional blip of Big G traffic that serves to remind you They Know Damn Well Your Site Exists - But they don't really LIKE YOU - YET.