tedster - 8:53 pm on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: tedster at 1:26 am (utc) on Mar 21, 2012]
@aristotle, your new explanation really underscores the point I've made in a few other threads - that "checklist SEO" is no longer a useful model for us. Instead, as Duane Forrester of Bing mentioned at SXSW, today's algorithms are more responsive and alive to many shifting conditions. "If you press one place, something may pop out some place else."
In the case you describe, the outdated broken links on the article would be a "pressed in place", but the fact that external links and other user data would who how good the page is would "pop out" anyway and the ranking could well be sustained.
[edited by: tedster at 1:26 am (utc) on Mar 21, 2012]