Did anyone notice almost 1.5-2 year sandbox like effect on new websites?

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All of us understand that new sites even with the best content and link campaign take time to rank. It used to be a 3months-1 year depending on niche and competition. But can it be 2 years?
I had started two websites two years back and have worked on them for a year without much success. But,I noticed they have started to rank well after 2 years now.
 
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I think it heavily depends on niche/keywords, links and all that stuff.

For example, people are ranking within weeks/months for some low volume keywords.

But for heavier keywords, it can take longer than 1 year. There is a huge amount of websites on the web. Sites that Google have had in their memory for a long time that they know provide good/readable content for specific topics. It would be hard and take a lot of time to beat those.

Building credibility with Google takes time, and I think these "waiting times" will increase more and more.

A few years ago I targeted a bunch of keywords that took me 4-5 months to grab the first place for. I replicated the concept a few years later and it took around 1 year to grab those keywords.

Increased competition = Increased time to rank

But again, Im a strong believer in links. With the right links I think you can reduce the waiting time heavily.
 
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But again, I'm a strong believer in links. With the right links, I think you can reduce the waiting time heavily.
Yes. Apart from links, anchors/link velocity might be playing a critical role. I have noticed some competitors breeze past sandbox without any issue with a similar link profile as mine.
 

bernard

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Yes, it's relative to the keyword competition.

I've ranked pages on a brand new domain in a couple of months if competition is slim.

On the other hand, for some of my established sites, 2-3 years old, I can rank content in the top 3 within days if it has low competition.

As an example, I did two almost identical pages, both targeting a competitive keyword in the kitchen niche. Both have the same unique data, presented exactly the same way. Both have exactly the same keyword and heades.

I launched this content about 10 months ago on both sites.

One is a site built around this niche with 20 pages of supporting content for that one keyword. The other is my established site that is DR50-ish, but only had that one page.

My niche site is ranked 15 and my established site is ranked 5.

And that's the power of links over supporting content unfortunately.
 
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If you haven't ranked for a keyword in 2 years, you're targeting a keyword that is much too competitive. It's good to start with long tails and work your way up.
Yes. I did that.
Suppose, a 4-year-old website is ranking in a competitive niche.
You build a new website with better content and an almost 95% similar rank profile (maybe better) in 3-6 months.
I have observed it used to take a year or so but now it is almost 1.5-2 years.
I want to ask how long do you guys take to beat the competition (assume the competition is not building many new links)?
 

voLdie

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You can rank quicker.

There will be some bouncing and wins/losses as Google figures your website out.

Like @Philip J. Fry mentioned going after the low-hanging fruit first. Then after 1 year, you can begin to go after higher volume/competition keywords.

This is a few days over 1 month on a brand new domain going after long-tails like a crackhead:

b8CKcYy.png
 

secretagentdad

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I like to target the related searches keywords google throws into the results for the big line items in my niche and just work my way out. If you monitor them sometimes they shift around new ones and you can jump on them to front run them. The volume naturally grows for keywords they're watering so when they change the traffic fertilizing around pay attention. Google can take a keyword with a few hundred visits and pump it up into 1000s if it keeps passing their tests.

Tangentially related.
Sometimes you can get your entity id entangled with some of the queries by just feeding back the word choices they're pushing for the vertical. I've had some pretty interesting results for multiple months at a time.
 
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voLdie

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Like @secretagentdad mentioned going for what Google is looking for, like the "People also asked" section is the way.

After almost two weeks of continuing to add one article per day with longtail articles with fat FAQ sections, organic is continuing to boom with this strategy.

hf9cqKL.png
 

Ryuzaki

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I've noticed an increase in people (and I'm not saying this is you at all) having a harder and harder time ranking, even after a year's time. In some cases, it's hard to explain, but I think the evidence is pointing to more and more people using expired domains for projects.

In one case, I know of someone who's not really putting in the work they should and don't deserve to rank, but a part of me is wondering if the domain doesn't have an old algorithmic penalty attached to it that we can't see. In another case, a person built a site on a domain that was about health issues, maybe 50% of the way. And the new site is not about that topic, but now we're wondering if EAT and YMYL didn't get attached to the domain and follow it along, even after all these years.

That's two things to ask yourself about the domain you're using. Even if it was a new registration, it could have existed in the past, too.

You can use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine to try and pull up old archived versions of the domain, if they exist on there, to get a clue of how it was being used.

Beyond this, we can't really tell you much because you didn't tell us much. Is it a YMYL niche? How much content do you have published? What's your DR score and # of referring domains? Are you targeting keywords that you don't qualify for?

There can be a lot that's causing this, even if you strip away the obvious stuff. We need more details!
 

bernard

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Yes, expired domain can definitely have penalties, I've seen some of my best work be wasted because the domain had some kind of real penalty and simply wouldn't budge, it was very much a -20 penalty as in the old days.

Then again, expired domains are so very effective that if you go fresh, you better be patient or have other marketing ideas.