Hello all, I wanted to clear up a significant issue with my recent article “The Most Common Reason for Dropped Rankings: Duplication“. It was edited closely but apparently not quite close enough. Please note the following change in a question within the article:

Q: “Which website should I shut down? Is there anything I should consider first?”

A: Yes, it is very important that you choose keep the website that has the most backlinks and has been online the longest. The reason I say this is that Google tends to favour entrenched websites; they have been around a while, are well backlinked and overall appear to have a positive history.

Whatever your decision is, it is vital you understand switching a website to a new domain is a dangerous step. This is because of Google’s famed ‘sandbox’. The ‘sandbox’ is really only an overused turn of phrase that represents a portion of the Google algorithm which considers the age of the domain as a signifier of trust. Generally, new websites will require 6 months to a year before substantial rankings are evident; this is kind of a right of passage that Google appears to be enforcing on the average website. Sites that are obviously popular and quickly gain a load of legitimate link popularity will easily avoid the sandbox (because Google can not afford to miss a ‘great’ website) but this is not the common scenario.

Sorry for this confusion! I hope the rest of that sentence made the mistake irrelevant but I didn’t want to take the chance.

Well I guess we were right thinking this was a hot topic! I have received a deluge that I will respond to as soon as possible. Instead of answering them all one-on-one I will try to find some common issues or questions that I can respond to in a quick follow-up article which would be great for both of us.

Cheers, Ross Dunn