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  1. #1
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    Do backlinks expire from Google?

    This is something I have noticed couple of times in the past - it "feels" that old backlinks expire or loose value over time. Mostly for Google, although I can vouch for other search engines, since I've been monitoring this behavior on Google only. I know for sure that certain links do exist, but Google either discounts them or gives them less value with each PageRank update. Those links slowly disappear from back link search results.

    Am I right or just being too paranoid?

    I posted this question on another forum, but crowd there isn't sure either. Any input would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    As long as that link exists it has some value. That value will change naturally as factors surrounding it change. The page context may change. The page's PR may change. The value of the page it is on may change.

    This is the kind of stuff that is nice for a fun chat but never should be much of a thought n anyone's mind. Not only can't you tell exactly what is going on, but you can't control it even if you did. Just be happy you have the link.

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    I am happy, for some time I though I had a base to build upon. Now turns out the base is sort of... sinking with time

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    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zealus.com View Post
    I am happy, for some time I though I had a base to build upon. Now turns out the base is sort of... sinking with time
    There's no evidence that older links are devalued so don't be so sure of that.

  5. #5
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    I sort of did this unintentional experiment - I had a lot of links from some web sites to one of my blogs. I stopped building back links at some point and site just dived down in number of backlinks as well as search results. Number of backlinks in google was decreasing, even though when I manually checked for "non-existent" links - they were there.

    Kind of weird if you ask me

  6. #6
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    How did you check the backlinks? Did you use the link: operator? Did you verify those pages didn't add nofollow? Did you verify those pages were still indexed?

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    Yes, that's how I did check for backlinks. If there is any other way - please let me know, I'll keep it in my toolbox. I know there are some "scripts" that check for back links, but I haven't seen them yet.

    Yes, I did verify that. That would be too obvious to miss.

    Yes, they were indexed and links were present both on the page and in the Google cache.

    As I have said - it could be that I am unlucky , could be that some data centers weren't available at the moment of check, could be dozens of other reasons as you have stated yourself. I am just trying to figure out if that is a common notion or just a coincidence.

  8. #8
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    The link: operator doesn't return all backlinks Google knows about so it is a very unreliable method to check the backlinks of a site.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast smikkel's Avatar
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    As far as I can see : older backlinks raise in value (if the page retains it's old rank/status)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    The link: operator doesn't return all backlinks Google knows about so it is a very unreliable method to check the backlinks of a site.
    Yeah, I am aware of that (read somewhere about it). But it shows less and less links over time - that's the problem.

  11. #11
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smikkel View Post
    As far as I can see : older backlinks raise in value (if the page retains it's old rank/status)
    That's not true either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealus.com View Post
    Yeah, I am aware of that (read somewhere about it). But it shows less and less links over time - that's the problem.
    You can always get a Google Webmaster Tools account which shows more links. Or use Yahoo instead.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    That's not true either.
    I second that

    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    You can always get a Google Webmaster Tools account which shows more links. Or use Yahoo instead.
    Yahoo reports back links better? Hmm, I didn't know that

  13. #13
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    As stymiee points out, we can't know how much of an impact the age of links will have in the search engine's algo. What I can say fairly certainly is that if you've built up enough links today to be at top for your industry, and it's a competitive industry, and you stop building links, you're going to eventually be knocked off that top position and it's not because your links have less value it's because your competitors kept building links when you stopped. Even if you didn't stop building links, it could be that your competition is just doing it better/faster than you currently are and it may have the appearance of your links becoming less valuable but it's really only that your competitions is out-pacing you.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru Rebirth Studios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petertdavis View Post
    As stymiee points out, we can't know how much of an impact the age of links will have in the search engine's algo. What I can say fairly certainly is that if you've built up enough links today to be at top for your industry, and it's a competitive industry, and you stop building links, you're going to eventually be knocked off that top position and it's not because your links have less value it's because your competitors kept building links when you stopped. Even if you didn't stop building links, it could be that your competition is just doing it better/faster than you currently are and it may have the appearance of your links becoming less valuable but it's really only that your competitions is out-pacing you.
    My thought exactly, it's not about the age, it's about the relevance.

    The internet is so organic in its geometric growth, that if you don't foster your website's development by adding consistent relevant value to the viewer, other website's could overtake you and steal away users and links that could have been going to your website.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petertdavis View Post
    As stymiee points out, we can't know how much of an impact the age of links will have in the search engine's algo. What I can say fairly certainly is that if you've built up enough links today to be at top for your industry, and it's a competitive industry, and you stop building links, you're going to eventually be knocked off that top position and it's not because your links have less value it's because your competitors kept building links when you stopped. Even if you didn't stop building links, it could be that your competition is just doing it better/faster than you currently are and it may have the appearance of your links becoming less valuable but it's really only that your competitions is out-pacing you.
    To borrow a phrase from evolutionary biology - "You have to keep running to stand still."
    "The proper function of man is to live - not to exist."
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  16. #16
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    Some of the links might be devalued by google. Yahoo shows most links no matter what they are.

  17. #17
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcj662 View Post
    Some of the links might be devalued by google.
    Why would you say that?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcj662 View Post
    Yahoo shows most links no matter what they are.
    That's why you should get a Google's Webmaster Account


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