So have you bought, exchanged, or received any sandboxed links lately? Yesterday, I posed a question on SEOchat, relating to the value of links that come from sites supposedly in the sandbox. Do links placed from sites that appear to be sandboxed actually contributed to ranking improvements in the serps? Would these links contribute to the PR of the site? Is the sandbox only about links and nothing else? Their is an ongoing discussion on the topic with members raising questions to how this would impact links or sites, what it would mean for clients, and the testing methodology I used to test this, and why it would matter at all.
My main inquiry came from the fact that that I wanted to investigate links that I had established from sandboxed sites to more established sites. In order to get a solid answer I tested this hypothesis several times. What I did was establish several outgoing links from "sandboxed" sites to established sites already ranking in Google for keyphrases that would allow simple deductions to be drawn from improvements in the serps (aside from algo changes etc..). Keyphrases were competition was moderate and some terms that were locally specific to had variation to the set. Simple structured test. I monitored with each backlink update that the link were indeed getting picked up. What happened was normal, new backlinks picked up, but different terms I used to increase rankings (anchor text), didn't move at all. For regular terms nor sandboxed terms. I also looked at several other issues as well. But to read the full report please continue reading on SEOchat.