The Google Sandbox concept used to be the idea that a new site couldn’t rank
well on Google until a certain time period had passed. Over the past two years,
it’s been debated, redefined, morphed and then largely something I’d say people
have moved on from. Naturally, we need something else in its place — and the
-30 penalty seems to be the likely candidate.
Drop 30 Points in
Google? Meet The "Minus Thirty" Penalty? over at Search Engine Roundtable
covers how some people are saying they always rank at number 31 on Google, with
their impression being that Google must be placing some type of penalty to kick
them past number 30. Google Says
"No Ranking Soup for You" at Threadwatch has a similar roundup of forum
discussions, along with more debate.