Back in February I ran a poll asking if the Google Sandbox still exists and if so, is it US based only? I don't think I ever published those results, so I apologize.
A new Search Engine Watch Forums thread has new discussion around the topic. To be honest, the Google Sandbox, as it once was, is rarely discussed in forums anymore. As I said in the previous post, the Google Sandbox goes back to April 2004. We first spotted it when I wrote New Sites = Poor Results in Google, then it became known as the Sandbox effect and had controversial definitions. Matt Cutts confirmed the sandbox existed, somewhat, in his Coffee Talk with Brett Tabke. But since then, we really did not discuss it much.
There are some well-known and respected SEOs that still believe in it and many that don't. Which is why we ran the poll. Okay, so here are the poll results:
Question: Google Sandbox: US Based or Worldwide?
:: Worldwide said 46 respondents or 49% :: It No Longer Exists said 17 respondents or 18% :: US Only said 13 respondents or 14% :: It Never Existed said 11 respondents or 12% :: Other answer... said 6 respondents or 6%
If you go by the forum discussion as a measure of if this did or currently exists, that answer is simple. It once did exist and no longer exists, based on forum chatter.
There is a nice post from a member at Search Engine Watch Forums, where he offers practical experience.
Last year we launched a new website and againt mine and our webmasters advice, our owner went on a full scale link building frenzy which included using a Submission company to submit to hundreds of directories and do hundreds of article submissions. Well, it took that site about 9-10 months to start ranking for its primary terms and now about 4 months after being released from the sandbox it is doing well. However, to contrast that, last month we launched a brand new website. This time we convinced him to take it slow and easy and utilize the link partners we have to focus on adding quality links slowly. Well a little over a month later we are on the first page for many of the terms we have optimized for. SO I definitely believe in quality over quantity when starting a new site and trying to avoid the sandbox.
Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.