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Recency bonus for new pages?
New pages rank best the first month and then drop

 9:52 am on Aug 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have been following Brett Tabke's strategy advice and publish a new page nearly every day for at least half a year. Each page targets one main keyword/keyword combination. For competitive keywords I can see the same pattern for months now: When a new page is in the Google index for the first time, it ranks better than the subsequent months.

I wonder if anyone shares similar experiences?



 8:21 am on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I haven't noticed just a one way static decline. Rather a fluctuation, where the pages leave a position they occupied for a month or two and then return to it.

The biggest factor in how a page debuts IMO is how and from where it is introduced to Google.


 8:53 am on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I wonder if anyone shares similar experiences?

I had a similar thing happen. I debuted at pr4, soared to 8 then down to 5. I've recently updated my pages,links, directory names and am looking forward to what difference this will make.

I suspect that an upsurge of pr3 inbound links (themed), may have had a negative effect on my pr. It's only a suspicion. If my recent changes help my pagerank (in addition to my rank positions), that'll be interesting.


 2:01 pm on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Are you able to determine if the first 1-2 months are an actual PR for that page, or are they simply your home pages PR minus one for every lower directory?

This sounds like the page is cached and indexed however the PR is not calculated and attached to that page until 1-2 months later??


 2:38 pm on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hello FlashRed

I assume that the pages, after they got spidered and indexed, also get a real PR. PR for these internal pages I am talking about, is usually 4. Only few get a link from outside (outbound). And the number of internal links are not very different for a recent page and an "old" page.


 5:42 pm on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

About two months from my first spidering I had a whopping pr of 8. I was first one on the list in the G directory for Web Designers, letter F. Higher up than Future Farmers.

Then I fell to pr5 a month later, and with it, my plans for total world wide web domination.



 6:06 pm on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I suspect that an upsurge of pr3 inbound links (themed), may have had a negative effect on my pr.

Interesting. This gives me some food for thought.

As ones website rises in PR, those low PR internal pages begin to achieve some PR, also. This begins to theme your website from the bottom up. This may be very good if those internal pages are on theme. Very bad if they are haphazardly put together and off topic.


 7:21 pm on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

When a new page is in the Google index for the first time, it ranks better than the subsequent months.

We need a clarification of vocabulary here.

By "rank better", do you mean "positioned higher in a specific search", or do you mean "higher PageRank in the toolbar"?


 9:03 pm on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hello mbauser2

there is some confusion - you are right. Sorry if I did not express myself clearly. What I mean is the search results position (SERP) for the specific keyword for which I target a page. When I have for instance position number 5 the first month, the next month I fall back to maybe # 12. I do not mean PR. PR remains usually unchanged.

Torben Lundsgaard

 9:11 pm on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi john5

I can confirm your findings. All my new pages drop after the first update.

Torben Lundsgaard


 9:40 pm on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I really don't know if it's a matter of how recently the page came into existence, or maybe what I mentioned here:

[webmasterworld.com...] post #14.

I proposed the notion about a rate-of-change involving inbound links that impacts of relevancy/positioning. The symptoms you people are describing (month 1, good positioning; month 2, slipped positioning) can be explained by this theory.

Hey Googleguy, did I guess right? Do I get Points?? ;) Will those Points get me a discount at McDonald's or Starbucks?


 10:08 pm on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Beachboy

this is an interesting theory that would explain the phenomena. ( Torben Lundsgaard wrapped it up in one concise and precise sentence )


 10:31 pm on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

My theory about the bouncing serps is that the variables in the algo change from month to month. Indeed, I believe that the algo can actually change week to week. The changes will place a heavier emphasis on a particular aspect of optimization, i.e. title, links, etc. So if you have a site that is optimized in a balanced manner, covering all the bases, then you should be relatively stable. Whereas if you slack off on say, keywords in the directory name, and that's got a heavier emphasis this month, you're out of luck.

This is done to ensure a less static serp.


 10:50 pm on Aug 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

If Yahoo! is involved sometimes you get a nice "double hit" out of a new listing.

You get:



Your category listing.

Obviously on the next crawl, you lose the first pop.


 1:50 pm on Sep 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi John5,

My feeling has always been that it takes Google at least 2 months to take back-linking etc into account to calculate a 'true PR'. I've seen this with the new sites that we launch ie. the first month PR is low, pages are indexed and back links do not show with link:mysite.com

In the case of new pages, I think that Google may attach a different PR that does not take into account backlinking or even internal site linking (and closer to Home Page -1 for each sub directory).


 4:32 pm on Sep 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi RedFlash

The PR visible in the toolbar remains usually the same from month 1 to the following (PR4). But if the actual Page Rank within the let's say PR4 scale is higher for the one temporarily assigned in month 1, then this could be an explanation. I can confirm that the internal backward links shown from links: mysite.com are not settled before about two months after page launch.


 4:26 pm on Sep 2, 2002 (gmt 0)


in my opinion, the rate of recent new inbound links (internal and external) does seem to have an effect on the frequent spidering and consequential ever-flux effect. See message #128 on

As I explained in that message, using the age and the freshness of links for ranking purposes, would compensate for not being around long enough to have collected sufficient inbound links. For the moment I would say all my ranking droppings have had to do with competition getting more and better inbound links though.


 5:44 pm on Sep 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

When you quit working on optimizing a page, it's destined to slip in the search engines. It won't necessarily slip right away but give it a few months or a year and it will erode.

Your new page is most likely highly tuned to the current optimization techniques, and probably based on some recent successful experience template. But the SE algorithms change so the tuning drifts off the mark. In addition, competition takes note that they slipped a little when you came aboard the SERPs with your spiffy new optimized page and they begin planning their attack to regain their lost ground, quite possibly by analyzing your page.

The higher your page ranks in the SERPs and the more competitive your subject, the faster the competition will come after you.

Right now I'm cleaning up some old no-longer performing pages I made about three years ago, and marveling at how they ever perfomed in the first place.


 8:41 pm on Sep 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hello Mayor

I agree. But this is more the long-term effect. However I observe a short-term effect with nearly all my new pages: there is a significant drop after the first month, i.e. the drop takes place when the page is in the index for the second and consecutive months. I therefore have the feeling that there is some mechanism that works like a bonus for a page that is in the index for the first month. The field in which I am active, is not very competitive either and has a low change rate (arts).


 9:20 pm on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

“… publish a new page nearly every day for at least half a year… When a new page is in the Google index for the first time, it ranks better than the subsequent months.” – john5

Here is another possible contributor for this phenomenon you observe:
Since your inbound PR will probably not be growing in proportion to your aggressive content creation, older pages will have a smaller piece of the PR pie in subsequent updates. Therefore since a pages PR is a key component in SERP rankings, it seems reasonable to expect some rankings to drop.

For example, a fixed amount of PR distributed among 10 pages will probably allow you to get higher SERP rankings than the same amount of PR distributed among 50 pages. However, the thought is that you will be able to receive more traffic from the 50 pages. However, it is probably a bit optimistic to expect 5 times the amount of traffic.


 10:18 pm on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I was reading an article that talks about "recency" being added to the calculation of PR.

The article is here...

I apologize if it is illegal to post these types of article urls. If it is snipped, just do a Google search on recency and you should find it.


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