I believe one of my websites went into Google's sandbox, because it was under construction. I know there is a debate about whether the sandbox exists, but when I read about it, it really seems like it exists and that I fell into it.
My site is now finished and clean white hat SEO has been applied. I can see that the web URL is in the index with the site command. However, it does not rank for its keywords (it does not appear in search result) for the past two weeks. Google Webmaster crawl stats are erratic. The cache command returns a pretty recent version of it.
I have read somewhere that changing the URL of one's website helps solving the Google Sandbox effect. Has anyone tried this and did it work? Would you recommend this? Thanks.
I have performed a small test where I copied my site on another server with another IP address and another URL. I made a small modification to the title, but the content remained the same. That new site was indexed quickly, but it did not help getting out of the sandbox. So, this time, I know for sure this technique does not help...
However, I noticed that setting a sitemap in my
robots.txt with proper
lastmod values for modified pages, helped update the cached page and the keywords in Google Webmaster Tools. My guess is that Google reads
robots.txt more frequently than it crawls my sandbox pages, which helps presenting more recent content to users and accelerate the exit from the sandbox effect.