TrustRank + Sandbox = TrustBox??

    December 28, 2005

There seems to be a new term emerging around the whole sandbox/trustrank issue. In this article I look at that new term and discuss it’s implications in the SEO field.

The new term is “Trustbox” and I think it quite neatly summarizes the effect we’re seeing on Google now.

When I first read Stuntdubl’s take on the Sandbox I was intrigued.

You see, I’ve never been a fan of the whole sandbox theory – that new sites are arbitrarily assigned to this Google neverland for some pre-determined period of time.

In fact, for quite a while Google wasn’t even aware of its existence (at least according to them). In fact, they found out after some heated discussions on well known forums that there was indeed some sort of dampening factor affecting some sites.

So I did some more digging around on the whole issue of Trustbox – what it was and what it means.

The first mention I could find of Trustbox happened on November 18th. That’s where the author asked if the Sandbox would be more appropriately named the Trustbox.

This is because, as more people dug into the sandbox (pardon the pun) they began to realize that it wasn’t really a neverland that affected all sites.

In fact, most sites were treated differently based on a bunch of factors.

Ultimately, it seems to come down to trust. That is, is a site trustworthy enough to have earned its way out of the “sandbox” and into the regular organic listings.

And then there was the followup by Stuntdubl on how “Time + Trust = High Quality Indications for relevance.”

And I have to tell you, based on what I’ve seen in the past few months I have to agree. As I said I don’t believe in the sandbox, but I do believe in the trustbox.

So how does one get out of the “Trustbox”?

As the name implies, you need to be a trusted source of relevant information before your site can be unleashed into the regular index.

But since it’s so difficult to determine relevance on a site by site basis, Google needs to look at offsite factors to determine if your site is trustworthy.

How it does that is by looking at the incoming links you’ve managed to build since entering this space. And you can’t just have any only links. They must be from trusted sources. You want people to link to you that are considered worthy already by Google.

In my previous article about trustrank and the sandbox I talked about some of the things your site should do to get out.

Things such as ensuring your site is always growing. Not only does this help promote internal link inheritance it also shows Google that your site is a meaningful venture. One that intends to stick around.

As for links you do want relevant, authority sites linking to you. And more then just a couple links. While a link from DMOZ and Yahoo! Will help, they aren’t the only links you need.

Try and get links from other related sites in the industry. For example, if your site sells pet beds turn to other pet related sites to get links.

You see, all Google has really done is closed a few loopholes in the algorithms. They are trying to take what they say in the webmaster guidelines of their FAQ section and apply them to the index.

Therefore, as long as you stick to these guidelines you will be ok.

One more thing that hasn’t been mentioned, but I also believe that while you can earn your way out of the Trustbox, you can also earn your way back in. That means, if you do what you are supposed to to get out, but then turn to spam techniques to promote yourself, you’ll just as quickly earn a one way ticket back into the Trustbox. And if you do that it will probably take much more to earn your way back out.

Rob Sullivan is a SEO Consultant and Writer for Textlinkbrokers is the trusted leader in building long term rankings through safe and effective link building. Please provide a link directly to Textlinkbrokers when syndicating this article.