Webwork - 1:08 pm on Jul 26, 2010 (gmt 0)
the algo simply stops giving weight to a link that isn't there anymore!
My money is on Wordpress giving Google a case of the quirks, quirks that Google continues to tussle with. The initial "public problem" was the handling of multiple copies of every post. Google allegedly got a handle on this, though I can't recall reading "exactly how". Possibly G chose to appoint category archive pages - where ALL posts go from the moment of publication (correct me if I'm wrong) - as "the content" (for indexing). IF that's the case then it may also be reasonable to assume that any ranking effect - other than SERPs where "freshness matters", i.e., news - likely comes and only from links in the WP "archives", and not the homepage.
If so, then what about degredation of the signal of links "in the archive"?
Is the mere "pushing down" of archived articles by the system a signal?
I claim no expertise, but IF G is considering the effects of the WP app itself then I can't see homepage links on WP websites having the same juice as homepage links on a variety of other sites, except as they may pertain to a "fresh-rank" type variables. There's simply no "voting to homepage an article or link" with Wordpress. The article and embedded links go there automatically, just as they disappear automatically. If I were designing an algo then the only "signal" I would take from the fact that something appears on a WP homepage is one that says "Hey, this is fresh meat and everyone is talking about it. Up the ante! Up the rank . . until the buzz dies . . which tends to be in about 2 days."
I hope I'm not too far off topic, but given the ubiquity of WP as a publishing platform I suspect WP has given G multiple headaches, not just multiple copy headaches (though all those "extra outbound links", and not just "duplicate content", were probably giving some extra fits to G's algo.)