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.
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