Rejuvenating Old Links


Rejuvenating Old Links

I’m pleased to announce that we’ve commenced another search experiment. We’re investigating the impact of link rejuvenation on page’s performance in search. More specifically, we’ll be changing the format of existing links to create new ones.


When Google re-crawls a page and runs into a link which is slightly changed from the last crawl it will treat it as a new link*. What could possibly impact this ‘perception’ includes changes in:

- URL variant
- Anchor Text
- Attributes & Classes
- Location in the Source Code (less likely)

During this process, the page naturally loses one link and gains another. It is not known whether the loss occurs at the same time as the gain so this is one element we’ll be looking out for, although, this will be tricky to isolate.

Secondly, we know that fresh links of fresh documents impact the QDF type scenario but we’ll now be observing the impact of discovery of fresh links on old documents and see if it possibly has a similar effect.

Feedback, comments and suggestions welcome. I would love to hear if anyone has experimented with this in the past.

*Confirmed by Google.

Dan Petrovic is a well-known Australian SEO and a managing director of Dejan SEO. He has published numerous research articles in the field of search engine optimisation and online marketing. Dan's work is highly regarded by the world-wide SEO community and featured on some of the most reputable websites in the industry.

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8 Responses to “Rejuvenating Old Links”

  1. Hey Dan,
    do you have a source for that “*Confirmed by Google.”?

    • Pascal Landau
  2. I just finished to rename many of the backlinks pointing to my website exactly for that purpose so yeah, I’m pretty sure that changing the anchor text will impact the “weight” for a certain keyword too.

    • Andrea Puiatti
  3. Super excited to see your results! You might be interested in Google’s patent application – Document Scoring Based on Document Content Update. In there there’s a section on small link edits…

    “In order to not update every link’s freshness from a minor edit of a tiny unrelated part of a document, each updated document may be tested for significant changes… and a link’s freshness may be updated (or not updated) accordingly. ”

    I did a Whiteboard Friday awhile back, but lacked hard data. Tim Grice also did a small study you might want to look at –

    • Cyrus Shepard
  4. I’m going to read through that paper! Thanks.

    • Dejan SEO
  5. Yes it was in one of John Mueller’s hangouts. Which one… that is hard to say. If I find it I will link you up.

    • Dejan SEO
  6. Once the changes have taken place how long before we are likely to see the results on average.

    • Franklyn G.
  7. Any results on this?

    • Jon
  8. When are you going to post the results, i’m really interested to see what will happen :o

    • Kim Turner

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