Kendo - 5:41 pm on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)
I'm wondering why Google doesn't report bad links from your site too you in webmaster tools.
Why do you think that there is a penalty? Surely the keepers of the crypt aren't that simple, otherwise that would mean that the older the site the greater the penalty because in the course of 10-12 years the site could have been rebuilt several times. Simply upgrading through, html to cgi, php or ASP and then Asp.net or Wordpress would leave numerous broken links each time.
I know of one site that was created in 1998 that increased its content by about 600 pages each year, and then in 2008 was hijacked by monetisers who ruined its credibility before selling it back. In the meantime they continued under a new domain name, but found that domain age counted for too much so began using the original name again. All content was recently changed and most pages now use a different file extension, so you can imagine how many broken links that will leave out there.
In fact it has probably got more broken backlinks against it than good ones, but it still appears between 1-5 for its main keywords.