Do Links Get Old & Expire As They Get Older?

Jan 21, 2008 • 7:32 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

A SitePoint Forums thread asks, as links get older, to they loose their power? Here is the exact question:

This is something I have noticed couple of times in the past - it "feels" that old backlinks expire or loose value over time. Mostly for Google, although I can vouch for other search engines, since I've been monitoring this behavior on Google only. I know for sure that certain links do exist, but Google either discounts them or gives them less value with each PageRank update. Those links slowly disappear from back link search results.

It is a very good question. In fact, I wrote a post a while back named The Life Time Value of Links Based on Google Webmaster Central. In that write-up, I tried to look at Google's Webmaster Tools and see if there is any valid evidence to prove that links, as they age, are worth less or not? I was not able to come up with such a conclusion.

The question of aged links is a good one. On one hand, some people feel Google only values links that have aged. On the other hand, people say fresh and new links are more valuable than older links. Which is it? Of course, you can then say, fresh links on established and aged domains are worth the most. Or is it older links on established and aged domains worth more?

I figured I poll the audience and see which type of link you would prefer. Of course, there are many variables, but keep everything consistent and equal, except the variables mentioned in the poll:

Forum discussion at SitePoint Forums.

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Nis Sarup

01/21/2008 12:44 pm

First vote! WOOT! ;) Aged links by far. Because aged links means that I have an aged site that have been, hopefully, making money for some time.

No Name

01/21/2008 04:39 pm

I would think aged links would have greater value. after all they stayed the test of time, especially coupled with an aged site. But it can explian why a site i have went from having 3,000 links to 859. Yea I haven't worked on the site in a year - but to see the links drop for no reason was a question that seems to be answered here- ?????


01/21/2008 07:24 pm

I say new links are worth more. Established sites have so much advantage over a new site, that if google did rank old links more, very few new sites would rank at all.


01/21/2008 08:35 pm

Links from settled pages on promoted servers that increase their overall reputation and authority permanently do rock.

Nick Wilsdon

01/21/2008 08:52 pm

Can I go for option 3 - authority links? Those seem to be the ones that stick around. I agree though that links do age and drop off, but the authority of the source seems to be connected to this.

David Eaves

01/22/2008 01:17 am

Links are like wine, they get better with age.


01/22/2008 01:52 am

I would like to think that there are many algorithms that Google uses. Depending on what you are searching for older links may have more value or newer links may have more value. I doubt there is one magic formula that powers the search of Google data. Michael

David Eaves

01/22/2008 03:30 am

the only time when I would say old links are not better is when they are from low-O.K. PageRank blogs, when they are on the homepage they will give you a nice little boost but after a while, the post may well disappear from the index.

Vineet Singh

01/22/2008 05:07 am

Old links show that your site is still a good one in the view of the link backing site and thus Google will treat it as positive vote for your site. Also, a gradual increase in new links will increase your site value with increase in time.


01/22/2008 08:45 am

I'd prefer both. Old links from trusted sites, plus new links from trusted sites - preferably trusted sites that update their links often. In my niche I have noticed age-old links pages still ranking, even though they have a label that they aren't updated any more, and many broken links as well. I don't see why those links should count heavily, but since the page is ranking, the links probably do still count heavily as well.


01/23/2008 05:03 am

I believe, its the old age, rightly said there, Links are like wine, they get better with time. That said, The point to note is, if it was fresh n links that cud make the difference, then perhaps every new site would take over its competition within no time. If you believe in TRUST RANK (TR) then you have to believe that TR is built up with the aging of the links. Another shot, If fresh links were to do the job, then perhaps, spammers would jam the engines.. which isnt the scenario right now, so particularly the Old links should be responsible for what SERPS you see now..IMHO

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