Google SEO : Sandbox, TrustRank, Jagger Update
Continued from Google Sandbox vs TrustRank : Affect on SEO Part 1 : Jagger – Tying it all together – The Jagger update seems to have taken the aging factor and combined the TrustRank factor into one, forming a new age for Google.
In other words, sites have to reach a certain age AND acquire relevant links from authoritative sources. Further those links must also be aged before they are attributed to your site.
As you can see, Jagger is quite the update – forcing not only quantity but quality.
You need to have both a sufficient number of quality aged content pages as well as a sufficient number of properly aged relevant links.
Jagger is doing what Google has been striving for ever since the Florida update 1 year ago. That is to make the index more relevant than ever.
By forcing sites to endure an aging delay (also called the “Sandbox”) it is attempting to ensure that a site is indeed worthy of joining its regular index.
Also, it is assuming that those sites which are related will want to link to each other without reciprocating links. In other words, you will want to link to another site because it offers more relevant information to your site visitors, and not because it will help artificially boost your rankings.
Further the update also ensures your site is worthy because it assumes that only those that link to you will do so because it’s worthy.
How to work in this new age of Google
Obviously a new site will probably take much longer to get out of this age delayed “sandbox”. There are ways to make the delay shorter, however. Those include building links from highly authoritative relevant sites.
Now before you go saying “how the heck do I find those” remember that there are a couple directories which Google still considers important – Yahoo! And the Open Directory Project, also known as DMOZ.org.
Granted there are issues with both. With Yahoo! You have to pay to get reviewed but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be included. You could spend $300 and never get your site into Yahoo! Directory.
The ODP also has it’s problems ranging from slow update schedule to corrupt editors. Granted the group is trying to clean up its image but I’ve found in the past that unless you know someone on the inside it can take months if not years to get included.
Finally, even when you do get included in these and other related directories you still are subject to that aging delay. Aging happens when Google finds the link and not when the link is added to the directory page.
In other words it could be a few days or weeks from when the link is added before Google discovers it.
On the content side you also run into similar issues.
While its great to have an always growing site, you must architect your navigation so that new content is discovered earlier to help it work through the aging delay.
I know this sounds like an overwhelming task, and to an e-commerce site this can be particularly troubling especially when the bills begin to pile up and your site still isn’t found in Google, but remember that Google isn’t the only engine out there. Granted it can account for between 35% and 50% or your traffic, but the other engines combined will account for that other 50% to 70%. And Yahoo! And MSN are much less picky at who they allow in the index.
So if you handle your content development and link building properly – that is staying away from link exchanges and link farms, your site will eventually get out of the “sandbox” and into the index.
Also, keep your eyes open for related sites. Perhaps you’ve written an article on something new, or provided commentary about the current state of your industry. You could always submit that article, or a link to it, to other industry specific sites.
Consider reviewing industry blogs as well. They can be a great source of links.
Finally, make sure that the site is always growing and improving. A growing site helps increase your internal links which has a positive effect on link popularity, PageRank and TrustRank.
Also ensure to keep building those links. Even if you aren’t entirely sure of a link’s quality, take the time to request it anyways. After all, if it isn’t relevant Google will filter it.
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Rob Sullivan of Text Link Brokers is an SEO Specialist and Internet Marketing Consultant.