The Google Sandbox Explained

Recently, we published an article discussing the impacts of being sandboxed by Google. In this blog post, we will expand on what these Google penalties are and how to assess the status of your M&A firm’s website. 

Google is a bit of a moving target. As such, the tools and strategies used in Search Engine Optimization are ever evolving. This evolution is felt most when Google releases updates to its search algorithm, which is designed to make search as easy and high quality as possible. Unfortunately not complying to these changes will often lead to the search engines penalizing your website’s search ranking.

Have you been sandboxed?

First things first, ‘sandboxing’ is Google speak for penalizing search results. If you have noticed a drop in your firm’s website traffic, online leads or ranking that are otherwise inexplicable, you have been sandboxed.

Sandboxing is the result of non-compliance to Google’s search standard and overtime results in your search rankings decreasing, even when your SEO efforts should prove to the contrary. Additionally, Google assigns specific algorithmic and manual penalties meant to suppress search results for websites that are attempting to manipulate rankings through nefarious SEO strategies.

So, how can you tell if your firm has been sandboxed?

#1. Look for warning signs. Log into your Google Webmaster Tools account and look for any warning messages or notifications of penalties assessed. Generally speaking, you will not be penalized without notification. If you do not have access (or an account set up) we can help.

#2. Review organic traffic analytics. Check your Google Analytics account to compare traffic reports over time to identify periods of significant drops in organic traffic. These big changes are not common and likely are the result of a Google assessed penalty.

#3. Connect the dots. Look to correlate changes you have made with drops in traffic or suspect changes to your analytics. Did you recently update the site? Did you recently integrate some new technology? More often than not, you should be able to associate a known change with the subsequent penalty.

While there are many reasons you may be penalized the majority of M&A firm websites, most M&A firms are penalized for having a site build on old technology and sites that are not mobile friendly. You can easily test the status of your site here:

If your site is not compliant you will need to consider building a new one before your penalty will likely be resolved.

If you need help understanding the current state of your website, want to discuss options to address an existing issue or just want to talk shop please feel free to contact us.

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