GrayWolf writes about The Sandbox not being the Trustbox, and the point he makes is the following: you’re not trying to get out out of the Sandbox, you’re trying to get into the Trustbox.
This makes a lot more sense. Recently the tattoo blog of my colleague Roy suddenly got a whole lot more visitors from Google then he had done in the 3 months before, resulting from suddenly heavily increased rankings.
Now we couldn’t figure out why he had been Sandboxed, since he only got in the Sandbox after 9 months or so. However, if I turn it around, it makes more sense. He had gathered some bad incoming links, and recently gained some very good incoming links, among which some DMOZ ones. I think that was the final push he needed to get enough Trust to rank well.
However if this is the case, that would mean you really can do damage to other sites by adding bad links to their sites, as i discussed earlier in my article about which links hurt and which don’t.