Well a site with 334,000 backlinks is going to stay near the top because it won't have much in the way of significant competition, even if it's not particularly well optimised.
I don't think there's any evidence that that's part of the algorithm - it almost certainly recalculates from scratch each time.
A site that's big and famous will gain inbound links because of that fact - Google's a great example. It'll keep improving its SERP without any effort or advertising spend.
I think it's all in the backlinks. If it's a good site with a lot of content it will get more and more backlinks over time even if it isn't updated. (unless it's topic depends on current events)
I think Google changed something in the last update that discounted some old links as I lost about 100 backlinks and dropped to PR6 on a 7 year old page. I know there has been talk about how Google needs to level the playing field in terms of old established sites vs new ones.
Time in index has no effect on ranking.
I think freshbot is more likely to visit a newer site. I have seen this in my sites. Other than that I don't know.
My site is coming up to it's 8th birthday, we had neglected it until a couple of months back. As far as I know it had remained steady. No change at all. Stone-age links too.
>> Also....do you think a relativly new site (say 6 months) can reach its peak levels as far as rank goes and then just have to wait to be around for a while b 4 it cracks the top 10 <<
While the age of a site may figure into the algorithm in some way, it does not prevent older sites from being overtaken by newer ones. My last few sites all made it to the top 5 in the SERPs for their targeted keyword within a few months, and are #1 for some relevant keywords.
The importance of PR has been greatly minimized, as well, in that I rank higher in the SERPs than several sites that appear to be just as relevant for those keywords and have higher PR.
I don't see any evidence that Google give an algo boost based on age of a site. However, Google does rank on incoming links. Any site that has been around a long time likely will have accumulated a lot of links here and there over the years. Even low PR links add up.
I concur, like i said, 8 yrs old but I still gotta fight for my right like the kiddies. I should get a little pass saying 'senior site', free bus rides and stuff.
[edited by: hitchhiker at 9:57 pm (utc) on April 4, 2003]
My academic site has for a long time had about 300 pages indexed in Google. Two months ago this dropped to 200, and then in last month's update it dropped to 100. (Not a happy thing to watch.) I had not made any changes that could have caused this, as far as I could tell; in fact, many of the pages were static text pages that hadn't been changed in months.
Fearing that maybe an if-modified-since flag was somehow being triggered (pages that hadn't been changed in more than a year were being dropped), I re-uploaded the whole site. No page changes at all: just re-uploaded the files. Within a week my page count went back up almost to where it had been before.
Anecdotal, yes, but suggestive.
Right after the last update when I lost all those links I went through my whole site and made sure every page had a link back to the root level homepage with the exact same text as I have in the title tags. In the process all my pages were changed slightly so it should look like they were freshened. Hopefully this next update my backlinks will come out better.
In terms of external incoming links I'd think the problem would be that they hadn't been freshened for perhaps years. There isn't much I can do about that. I just need to try to get new links.
I just checked my external backlinks with alltheweb and links from blogs are beginning to show up. I wonder if Google counts them. Some were PR5.