AlyssaS - 10:53 pm on Feb 6, 2011 (gmt 0)
My point being, is this not what the "big changes" are possibly relating to and isn't the whole Adsense thing just a (potential) side-show to the (potential) main event here?
You are right - we all got well and truly sidetracked by Brett Tabke's mischievous comment about filtering by Adsense.
Back on topic, am noticing something odd today. I visit a blog of a friend regularly, and last August, he bought a new domain with his name in it (his old domain just had one of those "fun" names everyone used to get seven years ago). Being too lazy to do a redirect he just put a link on the latest post of the old to the new, and then posted on the new.
Within weeks of the new domain going live, G started to list the new domain at #1 for his name - presumably because lots of people changed their blogroll links.
But today, suddenly there's the old domain at the top of the SERPs when you do a search for his name, which I automatically clicked and thought hello, I'm on the wrong site.
I don't know why they'd suddenly list the old domain - it doesn't have his name in the domain or title, but it is over seven years old, and probably has some long standing links. Note that it's also inconceivable that anyone is building new links to his old site - it's a personal site, and everyone knows he has a new blog.
So, trying to extrapolate from my one lonely anecdote (which I know I shouldn't do!) - could part of the big changes be a move away from the over-emphasis on new, and giving more weight to old links and old sites?
I would imagine that spam links have a short life-span. The blogs or forums they are created on die. So if you did a filter and weighted for stuff that is say, over ten months old, then you could filter out all the noise. I picked ten months because I read somewhere that G did a study that shows many sites do not last more than ten months.