[Video] Why Does Google Trust Old Websites So Much?

The Evolution of Natural Linking

  • When the web was younger is was less spammy. When the web was less commercial a larger percentage of sites were created out of passion, and those who spammed generally were not link spammers. Most new websites are spam.
  • When search was less sophisticated people linked out of necessity. Now that Google AdSense has commercialized links and search is more relevant, more webmasters require payment (ie: cash, building their ego, sharing and spreading their bias, etc.) to link to your site.
  • Older sites are owned by webmasters who had enough time to forge social relationships, and build a natural link profile composed of quality organic links.

Why Search Engines Trust Older Websites

  • Search relies on older content, creating self reinforcing authorities based on the principals of the filthy linking rich.
  • Many people who own websites value them as their babies, and want far more than their fair market value for them. Quality websites are nowhere near as liquid in nature as links or content are.
  • Newer websites can outrank old sites, but they have to be more remarkable or add more value to outrank older sites. This adding of value (through things like better formatting, more in depth coverage, more bias, more interactive content) adds value to Google, making their search service more useful.
  • As the standards for information quality increase, Google can arbitrarily decide that they don't like you or your business model. Thus the web is a game of constant evolution. Today's marketing leading content site may be a thin spam site by 2010 standards. Today's average content site might be thin spam by 2008.
  • Given that new content creation is largely dominated by blogs and social media, new links are largely a proxy for the strength of your public relations campaign. Thus, currently Google's search results are dominated by old sites and sites that are controversial and/or buzzworthy.
  • There is an information pollution side effect caused by the growing competition for links, but currently Google does not factor that into their view of the web. If you buy a link you are bad. If you lie for a link and get an organic citation you are good. I am not sure how/if they ever intend to address this side effect.
Published: October 29, 2007 by Aaron Wall in videos


October 29, 2007 - 5:01am

GREAT series of how to posts! Keep it up.

October 29, 2007 - 6:34am

Video mania! Really enjoyed this, good job.

October 29, 2007 - 4:29pm

It seems like Google's bias is a bit too strong in this area. Not every new site is a spam site. Blogging seems to be a way around this.

If you were going to start a new ecommerce site from scratch, you would be better off buying an old domain?

How about a new site that has 301 redirects from an old domain?

How old is old?

October 29, 2007 - 6:44pm

I think a site is old when it is about 2 years old. Though older is better, and if it has tons of legit high quality links it doesn't necessarily need to be 2 years old.

In many competitive markets buying an existing site is probably the best way to enter it, but if you can get a strong domain name and/or you are good at linkbait and/or you work in a non-competitive vertical then you do not need to start with an old site.

October 29, 2007 - 4:47pm

So what is the best way around this? My site is new and there is nothing I can change about that. Is link building the only solution? Also, does this mean that links from older websites are generally better?

October 29, 2007 - 6:47pm

Links from older websites are typically better in the sense that the older a website is the more time it has had to get worked into the real and clean parts of the web graph.

Newer sites that are talked about alot (TechCrunh, ReadWriteWeb, FreelanceSwitch, etc.) are great link sources if you can get exposure on them.

My reply to the first comment hinted that both domain names and link baiting were workarounds to the issue. So is time and so it finding noncompetitive niches.

October 29, 2007 - 7:48pm

I think now we are starting to see some big underground networks of links trading... because Google is penalizing the sites that sell links in a obvious way... so, what the side effect of this underground market will be is something that nobody knows.

October 29, 2007 - 11:11pm

ciao Aaron,

I am an Italian fan of yours.
I have been reading your blog for a while a now I registered because I would like to translate your book in Italian and collaborate with you if you want to.

Can you shoot me an email when you have a chance.

I appreciated


October 29, 2007 - 11:20pm

Hi Francesco
Currently I am not looking for translators. I just don't feel comfortable having my stuff translated and updated when I don't know the related cultures and languages well.

Jeremy Palmer
October 29, 2007 - 11:47pm

I liked the video and the post. They are a perfect compliment to each other.

Rather than ranting or raving you just present the facts and offer helpful suggestions.

Keep up the good work.

October 30, 2007 - 11:45pm


thanks for the response. I appreciated.

Looking forward to collaborate who knows! :D


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