Difference Between A Google Dance And Sand Box

by oyim2000 Banned
31 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Hi warriors,

Can anyboby please tell me the difference between a google dance and sand box. Recently two of my brand new websites(both three months old) disappeared from google. The both of them were ranking on page one. Position3 and 8respectively.

I did some heavy link building, since last two weeks, on all of my sites.around 100 profile links, 20 blog commenting and 5 articles links

My first site is flactuating between page 5 and 6 since yesterday. As for the second site i can't find it anywhere. The good thing is that the big G has not deindexed both my site.

Has anyone experienced this kind of situation? Any help will be appreciated.
#box #dance #difference #google #sand
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Jordan
    Try doing site:yourdomain.com -if you're still listed, then your site is not sandboxed.

    Don't worry about google dance or sandbox. You will be fine. Just add content on a regular basis and get backlinks. Time spent checking your Google ratings is time wasted.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Originally Posted by Mark Jordan View Post

    Try doing site:yourdomain.com -if you're still listed, then your site is not sandboxed.
    I agree whole-heartedly. If a search for site:yourdomain.com shows some results, then you have not been banned from Google. So long as your site has not been banned, you are still in the running to achieve page one search results.



    The flip answer to your question is that one is real and one is imaginary. ;-)

    Be prepared, because people are going to flip on me over my opinion on the Sandbox.

    The Google Dance is real. That is when you check your results over the course of a day or week, and you see that your ranking is moving all over the place.

    For example, I posted a new blog post a couple days back that was designed to target about 4 keyword phrases. Within just a few hours, Google had crawled the page. Eight hours after posting, my preferred target phrase was at #201. Twelve hours after posting, it was at #132. Twenty-four hours after posting, it was ranked #96. This morning - 36 hours after posting - it was not in the top 1000.

    Some people would suggest that this means that my blog post was "sandboxed".

    Just a few minutes ago, I found my post back at #321, so even though it was gone for a few hours, it is now back in the listings.

    My second target keyword phrase for the same blog post was not in the top 1000, at the eight hour mark after posting. Twelve hours after posting, it was in the 500's. Twenty-four hours after posting, it was #17. Thirty-Six hours after posting, it was #6. And just a few minutes ago, it had dropped to #7.

    This is the very definition of the Google Dance.

    Your ranking position in the SERPS is always on the move. It goes up and down, as Google adds and removes data from its databases, and it recalculates the perceived value of your page.

    Now, I am going to tweak some people off... The Google Sandbox is not real.

    The theory behind the Sandbox is that Google will honor your page with some ranking, for a very short time, then Google will drop your listing into oblivion, never to be seen again.

    The Sandbox is, I believe, one of those myths created by an SEO Professional to explain to a customer why their page dropped out of the SERPS for a particular keyword phrase...

    But think about this...

    Google may show 40 million search results on a particular query, but they will only show up to 1000 of those for any search phrase. As you drill down into their results, they shorten and lower the number of results they are willing to show you.

    For example. On my primary target phrase, page one says that there are 1 to 100 of 265 million results. At the bottom of the page, I have links to eight pages in Google for that phrase. If I immediately click to page 8, they show me 501-581.

    If I keep clicking Next Page, the number of pages keep shrinking. When I hit page 3, then my options drop to 7 pages. When I get to page 6, that is the end of the road with results 501-581.

    All my absence from the SERPS really says is that my page does not score in the top 581 results...

    The argument is often that if I cannot see my page in the top 581 results for a particular phrase, then my page is sandboxed! In theory, it has been dropped into the oblivion of darkness at Google, never to surface again, without a miracle from God...

    Interestingly, while my main keyword phrase would suggest that the Sandbox Proponents are right and that there is a Sandbox, my page was still sitting at #6 on another keyword phrase, while it was absent from the SERPS on another keyword phrase.

    The Google Sandbox in my mind is just an excuse that high-paid SEO professionals tell their clients, as the excuse for a page dropping out of the search results for a particular keyword. After all, if their customers continue to believe in the mystical sandbox, then their customers will not blame them for the failure to deliver the Search Marketing results the customer was hoping to achieve. Once the drop in ranking can be attributed to Google's inner-workings, then the customer cannot be mad at the SEO provider and everybody can be happy again. ;-)

    Of course, when Google only shows 581 results out of 265 million results, there are going to be 264 million, 999 thousand, and 419 upset people. Not everyone can get all of their pages ranked in the visible SERPs, for all of their target keywords. The odds are statistically against us, no matter what we are trying to get ranked in Google or any other search engine.

    I create a lot of content online, and I possess more than my fair share of page one rankings in Google. There are some keyword phrases that I would kill to achieve a page one ranking for, but those phrases are hyper-competitive, so I just keep plugging away to try to move my ranking up. There are other keyword phrases where very little effort is actually required to achieve page one results.

    If any page on the Internet has a single keyword phrase resolving to the visible SERPs, then it is not really ignored by Google. And if your page does not hold a place in the visible SERPs for your preferred target keyword phrase, then it is simply not relevant enough in Google's algorithms at this time.

    I phrased that last sentence deliberately, "simply not relevant enough in Google's algorithms at this time", because with a little or a lot of work, any page can be brought out of the shadows into the light of day within Google's SERPs.

    I have always believed the Google Sandbox to be a SEO Myth, and anyone who cares to try will be hard-pressed to convince me otherwise.
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    Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
    Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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    • Profile picture of the author djleon1
      For the most part nobody knows the answer to this - it is all theory as I doubt people who work on Google's algorithim are posting here - though all of this makes great forum fodder. You will not see any statments of fact (with data to back it up) explaining any of these concepts. So just don't worry about it.

      I agree with the previous two posters - simply continue to add content and do your backlink/seo work and if you are not ranking then be patient then tweak your site or move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author oyim2000
    Banned
    Thanks guys for the in insight. I guess i have to move on and be patient. And of course, do my usual content and backlinking stuff. After all, at the end backlinks and good content matters.
    Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author halfpoint
      Google dance = Your site moving up and down the rankings while Google works out where you should be ranked.

      Google sandbox = Something mythical that people make up when they can't figure out why their site isn't ranking well.
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      • Profile picture of the author jasonmorgan
        Originally Posted by Pat Jackson View Post

        Google dance = Your site moving up and down the rankings while Google works out where you should be ranked.

        Google sandbox = Something mythical that people make up when they can't figure out why their site isn't ranking well.
        you've got it all wrong...

        Google Dance = Helps you pick up chicks at the local disco

        Google Sandbox = It's what my cat uses to take care of his "business"
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        I'm all about that bass.

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  • Profile picture of the author Marakatapolis
    So you can't get de-indexed?
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Marakatapolis View Post

      So you can't get de-indexed?
      I am pretty sure that no one suggested that it was not possible to be "de-indexed"...

      In fact, at least two of us suggested that one should verify that you have not been de-indexed (banned), before looking further...

      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      If a search for site:yourdomain.com shows some results, then you have not been banned from Google. So long as your site has not been banned, you are still in the running to achieve page one search results.
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      Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
      Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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  • Profile picture of the author Marakatapolis
    So, you are saying there is no such thing as a Sandbox, but you CAN get nuked entirely?
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Marakatapolis View Post

      So, you are saying there is no such thing as a Sandbox, but you CAN get nuked entirely?
      Yes, that is exactly what I am suggesting.
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      Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
      Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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      • Profile picture of the author firemart
        Ok if thats the case why am I with my site getting page 1 and 2 on yahoo and bing for my targeted keywords yet down on page 40 or not at all for google?

        The domain is 12 months old and the site is 6 months old?

        Any ideas?
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by firemart View Post

          Ok if thats the case why am I with my site getting page 1 and 2 on yahoo and bing for my targeted keywords yet down on page 40 or not at all for google?

          The domain is 12 months old and the site is 6 months old?

          Any ideas?
          That is not at all uncommon.

          Lot's of ideas...

          1. How many back links do you have pointing to your site?

          2. From how many domains?

          3. From where in the world?

          4. Any high PR links in the mix?

          5. Is there some variety in your links, link popularity of linking page, and in your anchor tags?

          6. Do you focus on single keyword phrases in your copy, or do you utilize synonyms of your primary keywords in the copy as well?

          7. How competitive is your niche? And keywords?

          I have one two-word phrase that I have been chasing for years.

          For the first three years, I did not even break into the top 1000. When I finally breached, I held in the page 50 range (around result #500). Couple of years later, I moved into the #100's. Couple more years to the #70's. In the last 18 months, I have pushed it to the high #40's.

          My site has been operational for ten years. This particular phrase is super-super competitive. The competition is fierce, and thousands of inbound links later, with the target keywords in the anchor text, and I am still not to page one.

          8. Are you seeing any inbound clicks from Google in your site statistics? If so, have you verified the keywords used, its location in the SERPs, and the page on your site being pointed out to Google users?

          At this moment, I have one page that I am trying to rank for a set of about 8 keywords (as mentioned in the previous post). I have one #2, one #5, one #7, one #175, one #320, and several more not in the top 1000.

          This is just one page that I am trying to rank. And it is designed to target several keywords. Some are successful, others are not.

          If your page is getting any traffic at all, then Google is simply not seeing the page as the most relevant for the keyword you are targeting.

          Regardless of how many results Google shows in their results tag, they are only going to show a few hundred results to people.

          9. It is not uncommon to be competing with several million pages for a particular search term. When this happens, your page must often be in the top 0.1% or better of the indexed pages to be able to gain those desired top listings in Google.
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          Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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          • Profile picture of the author firemart
            Originally Posted by tpw View Post

            That is not at all uncommon.

            Lot's of ideas...

            1. How many back links do you have pointing to your site?

            2. From how many domains?

            3. From where in the world?

            4. Any high PR links in the mix?

            5. Is there some variety in your links, link popularity of linking page, and in your anchor tags?

            6. Do you focus on single keyword phrases in your copy, or do you utilize synonyms of your primary keywords in the copy as well?

            7. How competitive is your niche? And keywords?

            I have one two-word phrase that I have been chasing for years.

            For the first three years, I did not even break into the top 1000. When I finally breached, I held in the page 50 range (around result #500). Couple of years later, I moved into the #100's. Couple more years to the #70's. In the last 18 months, I have pushed it to the high #40's.

            My site has been operational for ten years. This particular phrase is super-super competitive. The competition is fierce, and thousands of inbound links later, with the target keywords in the anchor text, and I am still not to page one.

            8. Are you seeing any inbound clicks from Google in your site statistics? If so, have you verified the keywords used, its location in the SERPs, and the page on your site being pointed out to Google users?

            At this moment, I have one page that I am trying to rank for a set of about 8 keywords (as mentioned in the previous post). I have one #2, one #5, one #7, one #175, one #320, and several more not in the top 1000.

            This is just one page that I am trying to rank. And it is designed to target several keywords. Some are successful, others are not.

            If your page is getting any traffic at all, then Google is simply not seeing the page as the most relevant for the keyword you are targeting.

            Regardless of how many results Google shows in their results tag, they are only going to show a few hundred results to people.

            9. It is not uncommon to be competing with several million pages for a particular search term. When this happens, your page must often be in the top 0.1% or better of the indexed pages to be able to gain those desired top listings in Google.
            1. See link in sig as i cant post links yet aprox = 2500
            2. 1 domain see sig again
            3. UK to UK
            4. Lots from both page and root domain
            5. Some mainly targeting 'fire extinguishers' and 'fire extinguisher' others include 'fie equipment' 'fire safety' etc
            6. No just use those keywords
            7. UK niche there are about 10 decent sites, one of which I class as myself with 2-3 aggressive seo driven sites. Crikey that seems like a hell of a long time to break through to the first page. Will that be the same for my niche?
            8. Yes I am seeing some inbound links from google but on the more obscure specific terms like 'red fire extinguisher stand' and 'break key glass box'.
            9. Hmmmm there really is no magic bullet for this is there.

            BTW, im new to the seo world, got a very strong IT background.

            Thanks for the help.
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            • Profile picture of the author tpw
              Originally Posted by firemart View Post

              1. See link in sig as i cant post links yet aprox = 2500
              2. 1 domain see sig again
              3. UK to UK
              4. Lots from both page and root domain
              5. Some mainly targeting 'fire extinguishers' and 'fire extinguisher' others include 'fie equipment' 'fire safety' etc
              6. No just use those keywords
              7. UK niche there are about 10 decent sites, one of which I class as myself with 2-3 aggressive seo driven sites. Crikey that se ems like a hell of a long time to break through to the first page. Will that be the same for my niche?
              8. Yes I am seeing some inbound links from google but on the more obscure specific terms like 'red fire extinguisher stand' and 'break key glass box'.
              9. Hmmmm there really is no magic bullet for this is there.

              BTW, im new to the seo world, got a very strong IT background.

              Thanks for the help.
              Magic bullets are few and far between.

              On the first question, I asked about back links. You said 2500.

              A quick search yielded that you have about 2500 pages on your site, but external back links are few.

              Yahoo shows that you have 809 inbound links from third-party sites: Site Explorer - Search Results

              Google shows 0 inbound links from third-party sites: Google OR Google

              The closest thing to a magic bullet for getting Google rankings is third-party inbound links from pages it values as respectable sources.

              Neither Yahoo or Google will give the public a full accounting of your inbound links from third-party resources. But the only one that really matters in ranking for Google is how many links that Google considers worthy. The only way to know for sure is to login to Google's webmaster tools (Google Webmaster Central) to see how many links they are actually counting for your site, after you verify with them that you are the owner of the domain.

              If you get inside of Google Webmaster Tools and discover that Google still sees no inbound links for your website, then you have discovered the most glaring problem for your website, as far as getting good Google rankings.

              Google counts the number and quality of inbound links as one of the most important factors, within its search algorithms, in determining how well a website will rank in its search engine.

              Google rightly believes that quality websites attract links from third-parties, so they make that an important measure of the value of a website. With Google v2 that went live at the beginning of the year, social media links are made more important than they were before because they rightly believe that if people like your website, they will talk about your website on social media sites. Therefore, incorporating social media (twitter, facebook, etc) into your linking strategy is advised.

              While there is no magic bullet, it is advised to focus on the basics: onsite optimization and inbound links from quality, third-party resources.
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              Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
              Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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              • Profile picture of the author firemart
                Cheers TPW

                Just looked in Google Webmaster Tools and it says I have 284 links in with 130 of them being to the homepage. Which is alot less that the tools ive been using upto now online.

                So im guessing its those that count. Ill keep plugging away at the back links then and try and get this number up.

                Cheers

                Firemart
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        • Profile picture of the author jasonmorgan
          Originally Posted by firemart View Post

          Ok if thats the case why am I with my site getting page 1 and 2 on yahoo and bing for my targeted keywords yet down on page 40 or not at all for google?

          The domain is 12 months old and the site is 6 months old?

          Any ideas?
          3 different search engines with 3 different algorithms
          Signature

          I'm all about that bass.

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  • Profile picture of the author Alexander CPA
    Becomming sandboxed, means Google deindexes your website, therefore you are no longer indexed by Google, at all (In public anyway, I'm sure Google don't delete the data) - The google dance is just a huge decrease in SERP ranking, then a huge increase later on (Well, thats what you hope for), the google dance is there to test websites, to see if they are infact any good and weather they just die out because, well they aren't good engouth for a first page ranking.
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  • Profile picture of the author kkchoon
    I think Google Sandbox Does Exits! It is NOT a Myth.

    However, very rarely your site get caught in this filter - totally de-indexed and even using the "site:" or "info:" command can't find you anywhere!

    Usually new site will encounter such a problem, to solve this is easy. Throw bunch of authority backlinks to it, with enough trust rank, your site will be out of the sandbox!

    If you still can't get out, PM me, I'll show you a cool trick.

    Kok Choon
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    Powerful Indexer That Makes Your Backlinks Count ==> Nuclear Link Indexer

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  • Profile picture of the author peter.h
    my question is:

    google penalty is real (the big G slaps you and drops your site 30+ or even 300+ serp spots)

    so isn't google penalty = google sandbox???

    if that is the case then google sand box is alive and kicking!
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      The "Google Sandbox" - Does not exist except within your imagination. There are lots of folks with very active imaginations and that is why you hear so many talk about it as if it's real.

      What is real is QDF (Query Deserves Freshness), sometimes called the "Freshness Factor" and TrustRank also called trust factors. These two factors combine to send your new pages on a wild ride up the rankings and then back down nearly as quick. The term "Sandbox Effect" was coined to describe the effect of these two factors combined on the ranking of new pages.

      The notion of a "Google Sandbox" as some penalty box that you somehow trigger is pure hogwash. Yes, you can get de-indexed for violating Google's Guidelines for Webmasters. Most folks who feel that they are in the mythical "Google Sandbox" are not de-indexed but simply not ranking well for their targeted keyword due to the superior ranking of their competition.

      I believe the QDF factor gives many folks a false since of accomplishment because they actually believe they earned that excellent ranking and are baffled as to what happened after the QDF effect wears off. That's when you typically hear the "Google Sandbox" myth being trotted out.

      In reality there is nothing that you can do to cause, or prevent the so called sandbox effect. It's been a part of Google's algorithm for many years and nearly every new web page is treated exactly the same way. The reason this effect seems more pronounced in some cases is because some keywords have more competition and require more promotion to earn the ranking that was temporarily garnered through QDF.
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      • Profile picture of the author jeniferdesauza
        I was told that the sandbox is a myth, and something people get obsessed about for no reason. Is it so thatall new web pages (or websites or web domains, depending on your point of view) would automatically be placed in the sandbox for a period of some months ?
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        • Profile picture of the author hidohebhi
          So I thought I knew what the Google Dance meant. One of my sites (now 5 months old) moved around a lot in the first 1-2 months (top 5 on page 1 for fairly easy keywords, occasionally jumping down 20 or 30 spots, along with more minor fluctuations). For the next 2 months, it pretty much settled in the top 4-8 for 3 keywords.

          However, I came back from vacation 4 weeks ago and started doing more backlink building. Now, for 3 of the past 4 weeks (including the past 8 days), my site continuously lists at the very bottom of the search results. Literally, if I search, I need to click through to the last page of search results, and my site is the last listing for every keyword.

          My site is obviously still indexed, but I'm starting to wonder what is happening.

          Can someone please tell me if this is normal???
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  • Profile picture of the author the rider
    A site is sandboxed when it is new and does not rank for keyword phrases that are not incredibly competitive (such as a unique company name) in Google after making the page "search engine friendly" and after being indexed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Beldin
    @ hidohebhi

    What have you been doing as far as backlinking goes for your site. Hitting a site with lots of backlinks and then stopping completely (as in... on vacation) seems to be an effective way of experiencing the "google dance".

    I think if you continue to backlink with quality and diversity in your backlinks you should be able to see an improvement in your ranking and more "stickiness" with regards to the dance.
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    • Profile picture of the author hidohebhi
      @Beldin,

      Thanks for the reply - I'm fairly new at this, but I also suspected that the vacation period (3 weeks with little to no backlinking), followed by my return, where I try to get 20-30 backlinks per day, probably caused the dance.

      Sometimes it just all seems so silly to me, because the page is on-site optimized well and has unique content very relevant to the keywords, yet Google ranks it for weeks at a time at the very bottom of the results.

      I'm ok with it and will keep getting quality backlinks - just really wanted to know if other people had experienced this particular kind of dance, since most of the posts I read here are either about a page falling 7-8 pages in the results or else being completely de-indexed.

      Thanks again.
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  • Profile picture of the author hikamendoz
    if you read this forum there are many arguments to support the existence of sandbox. revenues have fallen and so are the traffic. there must be some truth in it.
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  • Profile picture of the author jokerbook
    i have 2 Blog on Blogspot custom domain with Sandbox,..and then i'm trying to move my blog on My Self Hosting,..then my Blog listed by google.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeey
    Hi all,

    What about this then. I have a site thats over a year old and for most of that year it was on google page one and pos 3-6 for my main keyword, we are talking low to med competition here. The url that was ranking was not my homepage but an inner page. To get that url there all i did was a few EZA and some profile links as well as crapy blog comments.

    Now i didnt touch this site or do any backlinks to it for about 8 months. Two weeks ago i decided to go back to the site and pretty it up a bit and put an opt-in box above the fold.

    I then joined an article network with 50 good PR blogs to upload some of my articles to. All with well spun content and all with unique titles.

    I also pinged the urls that these articles went on, didnt do this all in one day but over a course of a week.

    And my results are: The url that was on page one pos 3-6 has now been de-indexed!!
    Not the site but only that url! any ideas as to how to get it back up?

    Cheers
    mike
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  • Profile picture of the author seopintar
    google dance : it's only temporary of reindexing because there is some site that extreme optimise with some keyword. It's okay if your site good link building

    Sandbox: Google indicated if you site a spam.
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