Google Sandbox Case Study

A while ago I published a study on a couple of sites that I had created showing how long it took for search engine traffic to start kicking in.

A recent site I created proved a good opportunity to see if similar results still applied.

  • This site is in a great little niche.
  • The first post was published on 21st October 2017.
  • Until Monday 9th of February, there was just the odd visitor from search traffic. (111 days)
  • From 9th February 2018 until 18th, March 2018 things were quite consistent and then on 18th March there was a noticeable jump. (148 days or approximately 5 months).

If I was asked how long does it take to start ranking in google, my answer would be I really can’t tell you as there are some many variables (e.g if you just write rubbish then never). From what I have experienced though at least 5-6 months.

Now if it was just one article that showed that sudden jump then this would mean very little. Below we drill down on the top 3 articles, same date range.

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Also just to add another perspective here is info from the Google Search Console.

What I think is really interesting about this is how the impressions and the clicks suddenly leap, yet the position does not. This seems to indicate to me that a gate of some sort has opened as otherwise the position would have suddenly leapt up as well.

What do you think, is this similar to what you have experienced?

Rob StGeorge
Senior SQL Server Database Administrator residing in Auckland, NZ

1 Comment

  1. Yea that’s relatable. My sites always tend to rank in about 6 months. I’m currently working on my new site “”, which is a saisonal niche, and I’m really curious If I can make it in time to rank in summer when the search volume gets insanely high.

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