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  1. SEO Chat Skiller (1500 - 1999 posts)

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    Exclamation Sandbox Detection Tool II - Revamped


    After 2 weeks of holidays and a week with the flu, I'm finally re-releasing the sandbox detection tool:

    http://www.socengine.com/seo/tools/sandbox-tool.html

    The tool now measures the top 20 sites ranking for the search term when doing comparison and uses the median (rather than average) numbers for comparison of backlinks. The average run time is between 60 and 100 seconds, depending on the response times from Google, Wayback, etc.

    In order to understand how the values are calculated, it's very important to read the text and not just the numbers on the page. The tool is essentially measuring the difference between your rank at Google for a term vs. your rank at Yahoo!, MSN Beta, Teoma & for the allin set of searches. The tool also uses median backlinks of the top 20 sites, average pagerank, and age to normalize results (so if you have far lower than the avg pagerank and median backlinks, your site will receive a lower score).

    Remember that the higher your score is, the more "sandbox" like factors are affecting you.

    In order to best demonstrate how the tool works, I'll use the example of my own site that I've been working on for approx. 1 year.

    I checked 2 keyword phrases - hard money - and - bridge loans, both of which are terms I target heavily and rank poorly for in Google. The tool can help me to see whether "sandbox" like factors are affecting the site's rankings:

    Here's what the tool outputs for hard money:

    Website Details:
    URL: www.avatarfinancial.com
    Age of Site (from Archive.org): 07-2000 - Included for purposes of comparison only, not used in the calculations.
    Age of Site (user entered): 6-2003
    Backlinks (Yahoo! LinkDomain): 3750
    Backlinks (MSN Beta): 20546
    Backlinks (Google): 1550
    PageRank (Google): 5

    Your Position in Search Results for: hard money
    Google Position: Not in Top 100
    AllinAnchor Position: 1
    AllinTitle Position: 1
    AllinText Position: 1
    Position @ Yahoo!: 1
    Position @ MSN Beta: 1
    Position @ Teoma: 22

    Top 10 Competition Details:
    Average Age of Site (from Archive.org): 12-1998
    Median Backlinks (Yahoo! LinkDomain): 53650
    Median Backlinks (MSN Beta): 16277
    Median Backlinks (Google): 798
    Median PageRank of TLD (Google): 6.5

    Total Score: 76.70

    Obviously, the site is being reasonably affected by what we SEOs have termed "sandbox" - the unique factors that make sites rank lower at Google than they do at other engines, despite the appearance of having stronger optimization practices (links, PR, etc.). However, some outstanding factors above lead me to believe that more work is needed as well. First, the avg pagerank of 6.5 is exceptionally high, clearly my own site will need an additional PR boost. Second, the median backlinks for the top 20 sites using Yahoo!'s linkdomain command (linkdomain:url.com -site:url.com) reveals another area in which I need more effort.


    Despite a high score, you should look at all the numbers carefully. In addition to what I've shown here, the tool breaks down the score so you can see how the tool gets to that number, and it shows a competition chart that shows all of the numbers I've described for each of the top 20 results at Google.

    Please respond with feedback, but be aware that I may be unable to make big changes for a while as other tasks have me consumed (NFL playoffs, Influenza, building links, etc.). Thanks for everyone's support and input on the tool, I think it really is useful for me and I hope it can be for all of you as well.

    Best wishes for the new year!
    CEO & Co-founder of SEOmoz
  2. #2
  3. Contributing User
    SEO Chat Discoverer (100 - 499 posts)

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    ...


    I think that this project is really coming around for you..even though I'm still not convinced that a "sandbox effect" exists. I think that the main influencing factor in the difficulty of ranking in google can be attributed to:
    1)increasing competition across the board (more folks engaging in seo)
    2)The fact that older sites typically have more "potent" backlinks pointing to them than newer sites(I don't feel like explaining this right this second, but I think that you know what I mean)

    Still, this tool does show some real promise, especially when it comes to identifying possible over optimization. I know that this might sound crazy to some, but I don't think that being #1 for allin factors is a good thing...
  4. #3
  5. Wine Geek
    SEO Chat Good Citizen (1000 - 1499 posts)

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    According to this, one of my sites went from being moderately influenced by the sandbox to getting my a$$ handed to me by the sandbox (as of Dec 20, when Google's pathetic update wiped it out).

    Even with the sandbox in place though, it seems as though Google is getting slower in recognizing links (not via the link command, but in actual calculation of such) -- a few months back the newer links would simply have a dampened effect, but now it seems as if Google can't figure out the linking structures anymore...very odd. MSN Beta is on top of it though.

    Cygnus
  6. #4
  7. SEO Theorist
    SEO Chat Discoverer (100 - 499 posts)

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    Thanks Randfish,

    You confirmed that I'm firmly sandboxed with a 74.4 for my main keyword. This tool should definately prove the sandbox's existence to the skeptics.
  8. #5
  9. L8r
    SEO Chat Adventurer (500 - 999 posts)

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    I assume the top 20 list at the bottom is with the sub-pages removed, correct?
  10. #6
  11. No Profile Picture
    Contributing User
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    Whoa, takes a lot of time to collect all the data ...

    Still processing while I write this.
  12. #7
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    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

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    Thanks for this free tool, very helpful.
  14. #8
  15. KSL Consulting
    SEO Chat Discoverer (100 - 499 posts)

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    Sandboxed big time


    This is a fantastically useful tool. Many congratulations, you are quite brilliant to put this together in fact.

    My training and development site came out with a high 60's figure. Since it's about #2 in yahoo for 'training and development' and nowhere at all in G, I sort of guessed that it was heavily sandboxed. Maybe on it's year anniversary things will start to improve!

    Thanks once again. One final thought, when this tool interrogates the various search engines is there any risk of a site being banned by this kind of process?
    Best wishes,
    Steve

    Originally Posted by randfish
    After 2 weeks of holidays and a week with the flu, I'm finally re-releasing the sandbox detection tool:

    http://www.socengine.com/seo/tools/sandbox-tool.html

    The tool now measures the top 20 sites ranking for the search term when doing comparison and uses the median (rather than average) numbers for comparison of backlinks. The average run time is between 60 and 100 seconds, depending on the response times from Google, Wayback, etc.

    In order to understand how the values are calculated, it's very important to read the text and not just the numbers on the page. The tool is essentially measuring the difference between your rank at Google for a term vs. your rank at Yahoo!, MSN Beta, Teoma & for the allin set of searches. The tool also uses median backlinks of the top 20 sites, average pagerank, and age to normalize results (so if you have far lower than the avg pagerank and median backlinks, your site will receive a lower score).

    Remember that the higher your score is, the more "sandbox" like factors are affecting you.

    In order to best demonstrate how the tool works, I'll use the example of my own site that I've been working on for approx. 1 year.

    I checked 2 keyword phrases - hard money - and - bridge loans, both of which are terms I target heavily and rank poorly for in Google. The tool can help me to see whether "sandbox" like factors are affecting the site's rankings:

    Here's what the tool outputs for hard money:

    Website Details:
    URL: www.avatarfinancial.com
    Age of Site (from Archive.org): 07-2000 - Included for purposes of comparison only, not used in the calculations.
    Age of Site (user entered): 6-2003
    Backlinks (Yahoo! LinkDomain): 3750
    Backlinks (MSN Beta): 20546
    Backlinks (Google): 1550
    PageRank (Google): 5

    Your Position in Search Results for: hard money
    Google Position: Not in Top 100
    AllinAnchor Position: 1
    AllinTitle Position: 1
    AllinText Position: 1
    Position @ Yahoo!: 1
    Position @ MSN Beta: 1
    Position @ Teoma: 22

    Top 10 Competition Details:
    Average Age of Site (from Archive.org): 12-1998
    Median Backlinks (Yahoo! LinkDomain): 53650
    Median Backlinks (MSN Beta): 16277
    Median Backlinks (Google): 798
    Median PageRank of TLD (Google): 6.5

    Total Score: 76.70

    Obviously, the site is being reasonably affected by what we SEOs have termed "sandbox" - the unique factors that make sites rank lower at Google than they do at other engines, despite the appearance of having stronger optimization practices (links, PR, etc.). However, some outstanding factors above lead me to believe that more work is needed as well. First, the avg pagerank of 6.5 is exceptionally high, clearly my own site will need an additional PR boost. Second, the median backlinks for the top 20 sites using Yahoo!'s linkdomain command (linkdomain:url.com -site:url.com) reveals another area in which I need more effort.


    Despite a high score, you should look at all the numbers carefully. In addition to what I've shown here, the tool breaks down the score so you can see how the tool gets to that number, and it shows a competition chart that shows all of the numbers I've described for each of the top 20 results at Google.

    Please respond with feedback, but be aware that I may be unable to make big changes for a while as other tasks have me consumed (NFL playoffs, Influenza, building links, etc.). Thanks for everyone's support and input on the tool, I think it really is useful for me and I hope it can be for all of you as well.

    Best wishes for the new year!
  16. #9
  17. http://tinyurl.com/cz56g
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

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    What I would like to read now is a report from someone who claimed he has beaten/avoided the sandbox with a newish site (of course showing the tool's numbers that go with that claim)...
    ...please help me w/ the real Redscowl Bluesingsky...how2 check backlinks...now postin' @ SEO Refugee ...
    <`)~ LOL now that I finally have a paypal account, I'm charging 19,- for SEO advice via PM. Seriously...
  18. #10
  19. Super Moderator
    SEO Chat Genius (4000 - 4499 posts)

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    Originally Posted by Wit
    What I would like to read now is a report from someone who claimed he has beaten/avoided the sandbox with a newish site (of course showing the tool's numbers that go with that claim)...

    What exactly do the allintext: allinurl: and allintitle: actually measure?
  20. #11
  21. L8r
    SEO Chat Adventurer (500 - 999 posts)

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    I suspect that Randfish could probably help us out there. You have been collecting the keywords/urls haven't you Rand? ;)
  22. #12
  23. SEO Chat Skiller (1500 - 1999 posts)

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    Gr8ted3s -

    No, I don't keep track of the keywords. It would be dishonest and invasive, especially since many SEOs have privacy clauses with their clients that prohibit them from revealing their keywords/urls.

    I have some keyword phrases that I'm not in the sandbox for - try the website from my example with the phrase - hard money lenders

    Remember that all the tool measures really is the 'difference' between positions across multiple search engines and raises/lowers the socre based on how many more/less backlinks, PR, age you have vs. the top competition.

    The tool has been reasonably fast - usually 60-100 seconds to run. If it bogs down, it usually means that archive.org is returning results slowly, as the search engines it checks are pretty fast.

    Enjoy!
  24. #13
  25. No Profile Picture
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    Originally Posted by Wit
    What I would like to read now is a report from someone who claimed he has beaten/avoided the sandbox with a newish site (of course showing the tool's numbers that go with that claim)...
    Hi, I am not claiming anything for myself, but my friend registered ringsignaler.se.com and put up the site last month. It went to no.1 on Google.se in less then a week for "ringsignaler" (thats ringtones in Swedish and its competative with 2,6 million sites). It was shaken by the 20th December quake but came back in a few days. It is hosted locally in Sweden and it does get links from DPs Coop network.

    Please note that the "Age of Site" and "Yahoo linkdomain" command is irrelevant for this domain since its a third level domain off se.com.

    -----

    Sandbox Detection Tool Sample Results Website Details:

    URL: www.ringsignaler.se.com
    Age of Site (from Archive.org): ND - Included for purposes of comparisononly, not used in the calculations.
    Age of Site (user entered): 12-2004
    Backlinks (Yahoo! LinkDomain): 194000
    Backlinks (MSN Beta): 30
    Backlinks (Google): 351
    PageRank (Google): 5

    Your Position in Search Results for: ringsignaler

    Google Position: 1
    AllinAnchor Position: 1
    AllinTitle Position: 1
    AllinText Position: 1
    Position @ Yahoo!: Not in Top 100
    Position @ MSN Beta: 6
    Position @ Teoma: Not in Top 100

    Top 10 Competition Details:

    Average Age of Site (from Archive.org): 02-2001
    Median Backlinks (Yahoo! LinkDomain): 12985
    Median Backlinks (MSN Beta): 830.5
    Median Backlinks (Google): 188
    Median PageRank of TLD (Google): 5

    Your Score:





    Factor
    % of Score




    Your Results





    1. Difference between Avg Age of Site & Age of Your Site
    7%




    92.00
    6.44




    2. Difference between Median Backlinks @ Google & Your Backlinks @ Google
    6%




    1.63
    0.10




    3. Difference between Median Backlinks @ Yahoo! & Your Backlinks @ Yahoo!
    6%




    100.00
    6.00




    4. Difference between Median Backlinks @ MSN Beta & Your Backlinks @ MSN Beta
    6%




    0.00
    0.00




    5. Difference between Avg PageRank of Sites & Your Site PageRank
    6%




    0.00
    0.00




    6. Difference between AllinAnchor Position & Google Position
    18%




    0.00
    0.00




    7. Difference between AllinTitle Position & Google Position
    10%




    0.00
    0.00




    8. Difference between AllinText Position & Google Position
    10%




    0.00
    0.00




    9. Difference between Yahoo! Position & Google Position
    12%




    0.00
    0.00




    10. Difference between MSN Beta Position & Google Position
    8%




    0.00
    0.00




    11. Difference between Teoma Position & Google Position
    11%




    0.00
    0.00
    Total Score:
    12.54
    Last edited by laiwa; Jan 8th, 2005 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Age of Site and Link domain...
  26. #14
  27. Lonesome Cowboy
    SEO Chat Discoverer (100 - 499 posts)

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    Randfish,

    This domain is about 15 days old and site is online since 3rd of this month.As far as I know domain hasn't been owned by someone before...
    Why does it show as %7 ? is this a bug or a kind of gift from Google for my hard work


    Website Details:

    URL: www.sharedirectory.com
    Age of Site (from Archive.org): ND - Included for purposes of comparisononly, not used in the calculations.
    Age of Site (user entered): 1-2005
    Backlinks (Yahoo! LinkDomain): 1
    Backlinks (MSN Beta): 7
    Backlinks (Google): 0
    PageRank (Google): 0

    Your Position in Search Results for: online business directory

    Google Position: Not in Top 100
    AllinAnchor Position: Not in Top 100
    AllinTitle Position: Not in Top 100
    AllinText Position: Not in Top 100
    Position @ Yahoo!: Not in Top 100
    Position @ MSN Beta: Not in Top 100
    Position @ Teoma: Not in Top 100

    Top 10 Competition Details:

    Average Age of Site (from Archive.org): 06-1997
    Median Backlinks (Yahoo! LinkDomain): 23800
    Median Backlinks (MSN Beta): 4905
    Median Backlinks (Google): 371.5
    Median PageRank of TLD (Google): 6.5

    Your Score:

    Factor
    % of Score
    Your Results

    1. Difference between Avg Age of Site & Age of Your Site
    7%
    100.00
    7.00
    2. Difference between Median Backlinks @ Google & Your Backlinks @ Google
    6%
    0.00
    0.00
    3. Difference between Median Backlinks @ Yahoo! & Your Backlinks @ Yahoo!
    6%
    0.00
    0.00
    4. Difference between Median Backlinks @ MSN Beta & Your Backlinks @ MSN Beta
    6%
    0.00
    0.00
    5. Difference between Avg PageRank of Sites & Your Site PageRank
    6%
    0.00
    0.00
    6. Difference between AllinAnchor Position & Google Position
    18%
    0.00
    0.00
    7. Difference between AllinTitle Position & Google Position
    10%
    0.00
    0.00
    8. Difference between AllinText Position & Google Position
    10%
    0.00
    0.00
    9. Difference between Yahoo! Position & Google Position
    12%
    0.00
    0.00
    10. Difference between MSN Beta Position & Google Position
    8%
    0.00
    0.00
    11. Difference between Teoma Position & Google Position
    11%
    0.00
    0.00
    Total Score:
    7.00
  28. #15
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    SEO Chat Adventurer (500 - 999 posts)

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    This version of the tool is excellent, I plan to make it a part of all my development efforts. Based on my score I also plan to make a castle Im so deep in the sandbox. Keep up the good work.
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