Would you rather read a “how to knit” guide from 2018 or from 2003? Does it matter how old the content is? Perhaps the answers rely on has techniques, theories and technology changed in knitting since 2003? I cannot answer that.
Old websites from the late 90’s to early 00’s are small in number and so odd in design to todays standards and views. The old 1996 SpaceJam website or thebestpageintheuniverse is typical. Their contents however remain of interest. Those that fell away sometime over the years in between too must be mentioned, many forums and boards meet their fate just like chatrooms.
Interest is different to relevance and old content is prefered to no content. Look at old forum posts or blog posts on camping/hiking/fishing. Id still find them relevant and interesting even if 10 plus years old I doubt im the only one too.
On the other hand content that is recent in categories like technology, photography and design could be seen as higher importance and more relevance. Information gets better and we learn more but how its delivered can be questionable in todays age.
I think older content and older websites should be treated differently to the mass stream of modern content. A forum that hasn’t been active for 12 years doesn’t mean it should be disregarded in fact the information and content on the website may have been top-notch 12 years ago. There is no need to avoid and hide old websites that are now a part of web history.
The well-drilled, SEO driven content will rank and rewards for doing research and having quality work is noticed by Google. Thats fine, as it should be Google can sort its search queries to its algorithm however ignoring or hiding the founding sites of the world-wide web would be a sad result.
An interesting post on this topic can be read here. Maybe its just a mistake or error on Google’s behalf, we can give them the benefit of the doubt. The amount of click generating, black hat SEO content mixed with genuine content could get overwhelming.
I still occasionally find old content on Google but nothing from way back to when the websites looked as they did. Google rewards well done SEO and maybe these old posts and websites arent structured that way.