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Yet, I've also seen a couple of cases of newer sites with fewer links, including not having any from pages that have decent PR (like PR4) in a couple of cases, that are PR2 or PR3 just about across the site.
The difference between the two groups is that the first sites, the older ones that are PR0, haven't had any new IBLs for a long, LONG time; whereas the others, the sites which are newer than those, do have some PR, while having very, very few IBLs.
I'm thinking that maybe it isn't a *bug* at all causing the PR0, but that historical data might be used for time lapse of link acquisition, and that it might be hurting to not have gotten any link for a long time. It sure looks that way.
Anyone seeing sites go PR0, and if so, how long has it been since new links have been received from pages that are indexed by Google?
[edited by: Marcia at 3:59 am (utc) on Nov. 26, 2007]
That said, if enough lightbulbs to go on among site owners who've seen PR zeros and have a sense about the age and activity of their pages, then we may learn something.
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:56 pm (utc) on Nov. 26, 2007]
For me the question becomes this: Is anyone reading here who has a long established site that went from a formerly decent PR to PR 0? Such a site owner could check to see if the site recently got any new backlinks.
I do have some previously developed domains that have now been dormant for years, so I thought I could check out Marcia's idea on my own. However, in every case of mine, the sites have attracted recent backlinks - and they all retained their PR. So no corroboration from me, and no negation either.
[edited by: tedster at 8:50 am (utc) on Nov. 26, 2007]
I'm thinking that maybe it isn't a *bug* at all causing the PR0, but that historical data might be used for time lapse of link acquisition, and that it might be hurting to not have gotten any link for a long time.I have one site hit by the PR0 "bug". It has acquired several new links recently (1-3 months ago), before being hit. Several links were from PR4+ pages.
At the same time, I've wondered if perhaps over a set time, links although still "live", "die", so to speak, that is they no longer give the boost they used to. I also suspect links from "reputable", "authoritative", "respected" and "high-end" domains do not die - Yahoo, ODP, New York Times, etc...
Different from them being removed on an expired domain, change of ownership or page revamp.
1. With the April PR Update, there definitely was a PR0 bug for the home page that did not effect inner pages or rankings. Google's Adam Lasnik confirmed this [webmasterworld.com] as just a reporting bug,
2. In November there were three distinct PR updates in quick succession. The first two were toolbar "demotions" for some sites that sell links that pass PR - but so far rankings appeared to be unaffected. In every case I've seen, there is still some PR being reported. I've also not seen a verifiable case of the link BUYER showing lowered PR, only the link seller.
3. The third November PR Update was across the board - a long-await export of more recent PR data to the toolbar. It's possible, but not confirmed, that in this mix we're also seeing a similar PR0 home page bug to the April PR update.
Are we sufficiently dizzy yet?
4. Marcia noticed "PR0 across the site", and not just on the Home Page. If this idea of historical data influencing PR holds up, then I would also expect to see PR0 on ALL the internal urls, and not just on the domain root as we see in the "bug" variety of PR0.
I would also expect to see rankings and spidering affected - all the urls going supplemental, for example. Otherwise, what's the point?
Either by cold calling link exchangers, people who simply copy other site's outbound links, software that scans dmoz and search results etc,
I monitor the links of dozens of sites which I have not manually added a link to in some years, yet their inbounds continue to grow.
Marcia have you checked inbound links for the sites using a reliable tool and can say for sure no links added in a long, LONG time?
A system may determine time-varying behavior of links pointing to a document, generate a score for the document based, at least in part, on the time-varying behavior of the links pointing to the document, and rank the document with regard to at least one other document based, at least in part, on the score.
I have no doubt that freshness of backlinks is a factor today - and has been so in some fashion ever since the first historical data patent. But how that scoring factor is implemented is the question for me. I can't quite wrap my head around the idea of sending all the domain's urls to PR0 for stale backlinks. It just seems like it would be so clunky and inelegant, compared to the kind of algorithmic work Google does in other areas these days.
The site has lost all PR, but rankings have remained. The number of indexed pages has not changed and neither have the link: results.
I am completely baffled by this one.
...another algorithm factor going, somehwere in the query-specific link juice calculations instead of the query-neutral PR calculations
While that's referrng to ranking score rather than PR calculations, there's obviously some mechanism allegedly in place that can accomplish normalization for link weighting and scoring based on historical and inbound link data.
From their Webmaster Help section on PageRank Zero [google.com], disregarding being too new or guidelines violations (different issues entirely), take note of the mention of numbers of links:
There are no or few trusted links to the site.
Even if, hypothetically speaking, a site were to have a couple of trusted links dating a couple of years back, and otherwise not have a strong link profile, how much in the way of sending signals of quality is there, if the site hasn't acquired any new inbound links with a minimum level of quality, relevance or trust during the period of time since?
*BTW, the patent application linked to in that thread isn't at that location any more, the URL is now an app related to local search. It seems to me that all (or most) patent applications that have anything interesting or revealing about linking seem to have a rather ephemeral presence once word of them gets around.
[edited by: Marcia at 12:15 am (utc) on Nov. 27, 2007]
I don't think it's so much "link churn" as looking at the number, quality and time of appearance of links as they relate to the inception date of the domain in question.
Perhaps there is cause to think about how pure age of the site is being factored in, (which used to be quite significant) and the time line of links acquired. Old ones were more valued than newer ones, but now newer ones seem to put the luster on the apple.
That wouldn't be link churn, that would be a quantum leap downward with regard to link-based scoring for the site, once all the historical link (and freshness) factors are calculated.
And no, there's no question about links being bought or sold because it's never been done.
I too see this sometimes, but the links aren't just old... but also from pages that ( while may 'show' medium-high PageRank ) usually have cache dates well over two months old.
On sites where there's a lot of PageRank circulating, a single link to a subpage can keep it with a semi-green bar, even if all of its other parameters are below of even those in the supplemental index.
Links from such places don't worth much.
I doubt there's a separate script to check fresh links/old links but...
Perhaps there's a time-out to the validity of a link.
I mean, a link will only worth anything if it's discovered every month or so.
But if not, it's assumed it's not really there.
Let's say the pages that have the link are there, and the link hasn't been removed, but... the pages get crawled/cached so seldom... that the link(age) checking script considers the association between the source and the target pretty much broken. ( doesn't know the reason but didn't get fresh data on the existing link, so it considers the link to be... gone )