New content that is deficient will usually fail against evergreen content that is good. Sometimes the older content is just that much better in terms of quality (content, links, usability, etc.)
I see the same, and it makes me wonder why these pages or sites are better when the content is outdated and incorrect. Same for usability, and old design made in tables is it so much better?
This leaves us the links and my guess is that old trusted links are counted very heavy. To bad I didn't do link building back then.
Yes what Globetrotter said, the sites I am seeing in alot of blogs in lower end niches have outdated and boring content with bad links and such and such. The blogs are so old that, it seems because of that they are on the first page. I hope that more updates made by Google down the road will defeat this.
I'm seeing an "evergreen" affiliate spam site that Google sends a half million visitors a month to. The site is a decade old and unchanged in at least 7 years (dead links and all). I think the owner is retired and living in the bahamas now thanks to his aff earnings and simply won't touch what's working (and with good reason with how well received changes are nowadays).
It's a problem but not one I currently trust Google to fix "algorithmicly".
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 9:37 am (utc) on Nov 13, 2011]
I'm seeing this the 'ole outdated site' SERPs especially in keyword niches with small to moderate traffic in other languages.
The worst thing is - outdated info, several dead links and stone-age layout and keeps on ranking in the top 3.
It's a problem i've been facing since 7-8 years, i was hoping Panda would bring a change.
Has Panda been prioritized on sites with more traffic, more frequent changes and above a monthly Adsense revenue threshold?
Do the sites you see have adsense ads or only affiliates?
Despite ancient link strategies that may have once been somewhat successful, time alone can be a significant ranking factor. The grampa web pages may have developed enough credibility over the years to still outperform even the brightest and freshest of new generation web pages; particularly in low-competition keyphrase arenas.
Most of the top sites in my niche are old and outdated but generate insane amounts of revenue (mostly affiliated no G ads).They still have the 80s layout and kw density of 15% and over. Most of their links are partnered/exchanged and the information is just crap a 10yrs old can write something more catchy and informative.
I think once G resolves this problem they will move a step forward in a good way. That might be a good reset for the serps and a breath of fresh air for webmasters and users.
Let those old fat dogs work a little this time.
That is the problem with link-based PR. Years ago when Google and other SEs figures out that links provided better results than word frequency or other methods of determining their SERPS, it worked fine, but like you point out - after a while the top SERPS tend to be dated.
A few years back Google started popping new articles to the top (Freshness). It gave the new pages a chance. But if some professor linked to a site several years ago because at that time it answered his question (giving the site an .edu or gov inbound link), then it will likely still rank towards the top.
Hopefully it is one of my kids that figures out a better way to sort SERPS. LOL
I've mentioned this before, but I'll mention it again.
There's a site I did for a friend's retail store 10 years ago. I used a straight text-only page for the SE's, and then had a redirect script that sent users to a light weight page for dialup users, and one with more Flash content for faster connections. All three pages had the same content. Only the text-only page had follow tags; the other two versions were nofollow.
I got the site on page one for many phrases, including "Acme widgets".
When I started my own site in 2004, I had to compete with the site I created for the friend's retail store, and for many of the same phrases. I could never beat it, though.
That site hasn't been touched in at least five years. Most of the models of widgets are out of date. Yet it still ranks #3 for "Acme widgets", as well as other phrases. IOW, the site that was using redirect pages still ranks. The one that was above board is gone.
Makes no sense. I suspect that Google likes it because it's pure HTML with no images or flash or even font tags.
Meanwhile, my pages got wiped out by Panda. Search for my site using "Acme widgets" and you'll have to go to page 12 to page 15 to find it.
Well this is interesting, quite a few reply notifications in my inbox. So it seems everyone has a different opinion on this subject, and it's a known fact that sites with old boring content that has not been updated in months to years still remain to stay at the top. Why is this?, well maybe because it's so old, it's seniority is all i can think of. Other than that, the sites ive searched on did not have adsense or affliate links on them, they are just boring blogger and wordpress freebie blogs. But anyways, I guess the only sulution for this problem is for google to keep perfecting their ranking of sites in their search results, which they seem to be on the ball lately with.