briguy182182 - 4:21 pm on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)
Tedster - I agree it is at least that complex... probably more. Your question and none of the responses I read take into account different search queries, here's an excerpt from that same Historical Data Patent:
" For some queries, older documents may be more favorable than newer ones. As a result, it may be beneficial to adjust the score of a document based on the difference (in age) from the average age of the result set. In other words, search engine 125 may determine the age of each of the documents in a result set (e.g., using their inception dates), determine the average age of the documents, and modify the scores of the documents (either positively or negatively) based on a difference between the documents' age and the average age. "
Depending on what type of search query you're trying to rank for, it may be beneficial to have more old links than fresh links and for other queries it can be reversed. The site I work on has a ton of very old backlinks, our competitors that are ahead of us right now don't have nearly as many old authoritative links as we do... I'm thinking I'm in a field where Google is looking for fresh links rather than old links.