Nevermind. I see in module modulesearch.php in weighSearchResult() that there is an age penalty.
I copied out this routine, commented out the line:
// $weight -= $agepenalty;
put the result into a subdirectory of extensions as 'searchweight' and called it hook_searchweight.php
I added the required // header stuff and this:
To make a hook for the callout which exists in module_search.php.
No more NEGATIVES!!!