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grandfather effect
seo and url age
monsterisp




msg:140267
 7:54 am on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

has anyone ever noticed that the older the site the higher its position within the serps, despite decent seo or even page rank? Any other topics on this? I think this is a seriously overlooked aspect of ranking.

 

ronin




msg:140268
 3:57 pm on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Isn't that just a question of the site having gathered more links over the years, because it's been around for a long time?

skymanhonor




msg:140269
 4:36 pm on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

My oldest site ranks the highest. And it has fewer links than newer ones. There are many other factors involved however (which if I understood them all then all my sites would rank high).

finer9




msg:140270
 4:39 pm on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would think that it would be a slight affect, but one that Google probably DOES take into account.

Think in terms of what data is easily available to them via query for any domain...age is one of those datapoints.

Of course, in itself, it is meaningless, but that is why in terms of the overall Google 'regression' it is probably not weighted too highly.

ImVickieB




msg:140271
 5:38 pm on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think that google does weigh this in. It is almost as if the older the site with a decent number of links will be considered an authority site as compared to a newer site with the same number of links.

Macro




msg:140272
 7:27 pm on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've got some older sites which do well. While I believed there may be something in the grandfather theory there's this new site of mine (created just pre-Florida) which is now a PR6 and getting excellent, excellent placements in SERPS and even replacing some very big authority sites for some KWs/products.

caveman




msg:140273
 7:54 pm on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty sure it's real too. Evidence is only circumstantial, but in our case, with a lot of sites to compare, it seems real. We believe it anyway.

monsterisp




msg:140274
 10:20 pm on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I think that google does weigh this in. It is almost as if the older the site with a decent number of links will be considered an authority site as compared to a newer site with the same number of links. "

This is exactly the point I was trying to make. We have noticed this "grandfather" effect by google on quite a few number of elder sites (1999 or older). I think its a bad policy to add that weight into the algo (even if the average website only has a life span 5 months or so). I would think fresh sites loaded with up-to-date information and coding techniques would be consider much more of an authority than the old horse and buggy sites of 1999...

Macro




msg:140275
 11:05 pm on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

It may well be the case that you guys are right. What I do know is that a "grandchild" site can indeed get better placement than authority grandfather sites. I know it's possible because I've seen it happen ;-)

Go60Guy




msg:140276
 11:18 pm on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I can't remember where he said it, but I seem to recall that Googleguy once said this isn't true.

rfgdxm1




msg:140277
 12:30 am on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

>This is exactly the point I was trying to make. We have noticed this "grandfather" effect by google on quite a few number of elder sites (1999 or older). I think its a bad policy to add that weight into the algo (even if the average website only has a life span 5 months or so). I would think fresh sites loaded with up-to-date information and coding techniques would be consider much more of an authority than the old horse and buggy sites of 1999...

Depends on the topic. An excellent site on the Peloponnesian War that has been up since 1997 would still be as relevant today. I suspect that what may look like the grandfather effect may just be an old site tends to pick up a lot of links over the years. Particularly with Google spidering blogs and such. The older a site is, the more of these sort of links it picks up.

Oaf357




msg:140278
 1:08 am on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I give this theory some weight.

Why? Well because I know people who have very old sites that haven't been updated in over six months to a year and they rank well for their keywords with fairly poor optimization.

plumsauce




msg:140279
 10:33 am on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)


A contraian might look at it this way:

... a page that has not changed for six months/years
is less likely to be a dynamically generated
spam page. One of the supposed weaknesses of the
last couple of months.

progex




msg:140280
 12:53 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hrm, interesting topic. On most competitive keywords, it seems as though the older pages make it to the top.

SlyOldDog




msg:140281
 2:13 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Until a couple days ago I would have agreed, but since our brand new Florida-hit-sites returned, I no longer see a corelation.

monsterisp




msg:140282
 2:18 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Until a couple days ago I would have agreed, but since our brand new Florida-hit-sites returned, I no longer see a corelation.

We tend to disagree. Perhaps you are not in as compedative a category where this "grandfather algo ingredient" may apply.

soapystar




msg:140283
 2:34 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I give this theory some weight.
Why? Well because I know people who have very old sites that haven't been updated in over six months to a year and they rank well for their keywords with fairly poor optimization.

what you are saying here is that they ARE optimised. Post Florida means poor optimization is the new optimization. If you want to rank for 'big red widgets' you create a site for 'small white widgets' with a link to a site that sells 'big red widgets'.

nileshkurhade




msg:140284
 2:36 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google starts with a clean slate every time there is a update, so i dont see any corelation.

monsterisp




msg:140285
 3:28 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google starts with a clean slate every time there is a update, so i dont see any corelation.

This is not true, google simply makes modifications to its algo, typically most website's PR remains generally consistant(slight fluctuations of course, based on Google's new algo tweaks), and Google still has a history of a website's age stored within it's database to weight in as a heavy component of the ranking algo. (I hope I understood your statement correctly).

People if you are in a slighly compedative category, and have noticed a website(s) consistantly ranking higher than you with potenailly lower PR, little to no site updates, and little (if any) SEO, then please vist archive.org and check out the website's age. If it is 1999 or older, chances are it is part of Google's mysterious "Grandfather Effect", and potentially even worse, no matter how much high your PR/backlinks, and brilliant seo modifications, you make you will still remain in the shadows of this blind old geezer...

nileshkurhade




msg:140286
 3:37 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

And I thought PR was recalculated after every update. May be it is :-)

monsterisp




msg:140287
 3:45 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Not from scratch (or ground zero). Only instance I can assume a scenario where PR would be calculated from either 0 on up would be a fresh site with no PR. OR a from 0 on down, would be a site losing its PR due to a penalty. However I have always understood PR to carry over in a historical data manner, which is then upon an update recalulated from its last position based on the new Google algo modifications which do a mathmatical dance on your last score.

Perhaps I lose credability if i am wrong, but I believe PR is based relative to your old score in determining the new score.

[edited by: monsterisp at 3:49 pm (utc) on Jan. 25, 2004]

soapystar




msg:140288
 3:47 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

pr is recalculated every update. total pr never fluctates for the internet as a whole, only the share per site.

nileshkurhade




msg:140289
 3:50 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you look at the PR formula it would be impossible to calculate from the already set value becuase internet is a dynamic place, links, back links, content etc keep changing so PR has got to be recalculated.

But i know Google dose remember to crawl pages even if you remove links to them. (I mean Google can crawl orphan pages, if it has already indexed the page previously)

subway




msg:140290
 3:56 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

but I seem to recall that Googleguy once said this isn't true

are we talking about the same GG who said make your site original, informative, stay away from any untoward SEO techniques and you'll be ok?

I have always felt that the older the site is the better it's chances of filter survival. I think it has something to do with being one of the first sites that a "new to the niche" / "jumping on the bandwagon" webmaster will go looking for back links and also link to because of it's placement for "add url" blue widgets.

nileshkurhade




msg:140291
 4:17 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I feel filters are applied uniformly on all pages and this has no relation to the page age, which I think is not stored anywhere.

edited to correct the english

[edited by: nileshkurhade at 5:48 pm (utc) on Jan. 25, 2004]

monsterisp




msg:140292
 5:38 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I feel filters are applied uniformly relative of the page age, which I think is not stored anywhere.

Your line of logic presented by your post is contradictory. How can you feel that a Google filter's application is relative to a page's age, if you also go on to say that you dont believe google even stores a page's age to begin with?

nileshkurhade




msg:140293
 5:41 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Pardon my english :

What i mean to say is that when filters are applied they dont take pages age into account.

sit2510




msg:140294
 7:10 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Grandfather effect? No, Google does not intentionally favor or give credit to old site!

A possible explanation to this seemingly Grandfather effect could be due to the "incremental indexing" which is the attempt of G to increase its index size in multitude. With incremental indexing, G has to divert a lot of its resources and bandwidth to crawl and index the web pages. With large bulk of new & old pages being crawled and indexed, G also need even more resources in calculating the PR iteration and link credit which have not been perfect at this time, thus resulting in * incomplete * or * inaccurate * PR iteration and giving link credit, especially to the new links and new sites.

In order to save its resources, G may not have to calculate the old links everytime since G already has their base factor. If this observation is true, it helps to explain why old websites with old links got more leverage than the new ones with new links.

This also helps to explain the phenomenon of "missing index page" which seem to occur with the newer sites - mostly less than a year old. PR is there, backlink also there, but link credit leverage is "not". Once the process is more or less complete which could take months, then there is a good chance that the index page return.

nileshkurhade




msg:140295
 7:51 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

PR is the importance of a page on the internet. Internet is very dynamic and keeps on changing. To have accurate PR Google has to update its database taking into consideration dynamic nature of the Internet and not the age of the web page.

Age of the page has no effect on the ranking.

Lets end it here.

creepychris




msg:140296
 10:26 pm on Jan 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Age of the page has no effect on the ranking.

Page rank and positioning in the SERP is indeed done on a page by page basis. But that doesn't mean that one of the factors that determines a pages position in the SERPs isn't the domain from which it came. I've often wondered if among all the other variables there is a domain variable that can increase/decrease a page's weight.

IMO Google should take into account age of content in two ways.

(1) Older established domains that haven't received penalties should get some extra weight. The domains are in effect building up good credit rating. With domains coming and going, it's the ones that have lasted that were quality.By lasting, you have proven your quality in some measure.

(2) But freshness of content is more important than having a history of quality content. And so Google should also reward fresh content, which I think it does via the freshbot.

Reward fresh content on the page to give the most up-to-date results and reward a domain for having staying power (which is an indicator of quality).

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