aristotle - 5:55 pm on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0)
Well evidently I still haven't explained it clearly. So I'll try one more time by using a specific hypothetical example. Suppose that ten years ago a college professor wrote an article about antique widgets and put it on the university website, then he died a year later. Also suppose that it is the best article ever written on the subject. Also suppose that some of the outlinks he put at the bottom of the article, to serve as references, are now broken, and that nobody has bothered to fix them.
I noticed another thread here called "Google to Target Overly SEOd Sites", but many college and university websites are poorly designed and implemented, especially from an SEO perspective. In this hypothetical example, the dead professor's article is the best ever written on the subject and therefore deserves a high ranking in Google. So does Google demote it because of the broken external links at the bottom of the page, even though it should be number 1 based on its content?