tedster - 6:40 pm on Jun 20, 2012 (gmt 0)
Ah - yes, the "age" of the URL certainly plays into things, but not so much the actual characters that are used. That's what I was pointing to - the charaters in the URL - and it's my growing sense over the past few years from redevelopment projects I've been involved with.
Years back, there was almost a guaranteed ranking boost gained from moving to pretty, nicely keyworded URLs. This was especially so when technically sound 301 redirects were in place along with fanatical elimination of canonical issues.
More and more, I don't see the same boost, even when moving from the messiest URL structures and I've given that a lot of thought. It occurs to me that Google really wants to assess the content itself, along with it's user engagement. After all, why would they want to reward merely technical achievements if they don't have to? Their users certainly don't care much about such things.
Adn so I see Google has picked up all manner of other relevance cues and they depend less and less on the almost mechanical factors such as the URL characters and keywords.