Google Sandbox Confirmed
There's an incredibly informative article from the NY Times about the internal workings of Google's ranking algorithm (thanks to Rand Fishkin for bringing this article to my attention). In the article, we're told that members of the Google team are constantly asking themselves, "Is it better to provide new information or to display pages that have stood the test of time and are more likely to be of higher quality?" Until now, the engineers have favored pages old enough to have attracted inbound link from other sites.
Notice that last part? Yes, Google has preferred pages that have been around long enough to attract links. Sounds like the behavior of what most people called the Google sandbox. The article provides some vindication I suppose although those that argued against it's existence are likely to find ways to explain what they really meant and that the rest of us just misunderstood them.
Another interesting tidbit is that Google's engineers have been tweaking their algorithm to adjust the balance so that new pages will show for certain searches. What type of searches? Those that relate to a particularly popular topic being discussed by news sites and bloggers. So in a field with ever-changing information, a new content has a good chance of ranking well quickly. The downside of this algorithm tweak is that a site may need to continuously churn out new content to be considered new.