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I had always assumed that getting a link on an old or not recently (as in in the past 2 years) updated page was not as beneficial as a site that updated regularly. As we all know, Google likes content.
She seemed to think otherwise. While the crawlers may not crawl these pages regularly, and may only stop by every couple months, the link would still be beneficial, and perhaps MORE beneficial. I suppose this would be because the crawlers must think this update is very significant (since nothing has changed in so long).
Now I now this info isn't that great and doesn't really change my gameplan, but it was still interesting to me.
I update the content on my site at least every decade. And the links I get are from sites that are about as fresh as 1999. And my rankings are fine, and stable.
Maybe there's something to freshness, but it's not necessary for rankings.
A page with good backlinks is going to be crawled, regardless of how long the page has been updated. I know this for a fact. As recently as last month I created a site and dropped a link to it from an older site and it was indexed and ranking in Yahoo and bing within a week or two and was ranking in google for longtail phrases within three to four weeks. All from a link from a page that hasn't been updated in five years, in a site that hasn't changed in five years.
I want to know how you get a link on a site that hasn't been updated for 2+ years and presumably the owner has given up on it?
Or you could try this. Get 5 of your friends in the same niche to agree to pay $50 for a link. Call the site owner up and negotiate $50 per link for your 5 friends and get the site owner to drop in yours for free.
See? It can't be a paid link if you didn't pay anything for it!
And then Google flags said site for adding a bunch of links in one day.
If one's concerned hen have the site owner add in 5 or six pages of content, one outbound link per page. But I don't think that's necessary, In any event, I'm no penalty expert so perhaps it should be a concern.
What I was hoping to address however was the success in getting a link. Getting a link from a defunct site is tough, low success. Adding money to the equation probably helps motivate them. But offering them a bulk buy with your link thrown in for free has a great success rate - at motivating them to give you a link. Or so I'm told.
Here's an example. There's a PR6 authority site in your niche. Been around forever, mostly dormant, doesn't link out. The owner's sick of link request crap. You contact and ask for a link, you're spam filtered. You contact and offer $200 for a link, probably not worth the effort for them. You contact and offer $1000 (5 of your friends that you charge $200, and your link for free) and now you've got motivation.
I would think that part of this requires that the sites receiving the link are of sufficient quality to justify a link. In other words, the money's not for the links, it's to motivate the owner to get off their duff and change their content a bit.
I tried to buy a defunct site a couple of years ago, pr 6 or 7 and awesome backlinks. Never could get a hold of the guy, tried phone, every email address I could find, even mailed him a couple of times. Sigh. I still want that site :).
I suspect though that these days even offers to buy a defunct site are getting a bit tired. They've probably had people out fishing.
A link is as good as the sites that link to it, regardless of age.
Serious words of wisdom, and the best criteria to use when determining what your link strategy should be, and on a 'per website' evaluation.
The days of finding old websites to purchase are slipping away. However, it's not impossible. And the good news is, if you really dig, you will find most other SEO's and webmasters have given up on the principle of trying, assuming the above - that all of the good, aged websites would either cost too much or are not available.
I recently found such a website in health, active, well linked to, and 1995 domain pr5. Low cost as well.
Look for the hidden gems in everything that you do.
Other than possibly a graphical facelift, why mess with what's working?
More on topic, I'll take the link from a decent site, regardless of age. To me, an older site actually shows some stability, especially those that were around BEFORE the complete rainstorm of SEO garbage due to pagerank and adwords in the last 5 or 6 years.
"And then Google flags said site for adding a bunch of links in one day."
Martinibuster has a point...in that I probably wouldn't shove 50 links into the page footer....then again, I wouldn't do that on any page.
Personally, I avoided some changes to older websites the last few years...but no more. I'm done with living in GoogleFear.