I have done some searches and could not find an answer on this. I have found a simple php script that passes on a link call to the target destination. Then the robots.txt file is setup so that search engines are instructed not to follow links out from this script.
Is this a safe way of preventing PR leakage to those links? Or will it be seen as cloaking and invoke a penalty?
I ask as i have a site where most pages have affiliate links. I do also offer extra information such that i hope my site wouldn't be deemed as an thin affiliate! I believe i noticed a drop in ranking since i put these links in and wanted to reverse this if possible! I give them the business so it's not like it's unethical and i obviously don't get a reciprical link back.
I have a client who refuses to remove all of his (excessive) outgoing links (He's more concerned with making affiliate $'s than he is in selling his own products. (Yet he constantly whines about _MY_ inability to increase sales for him!)
My main concern is that all of those outgoing links will hurt his PR -- especially if they're low-PR or banned/penalized sites.
(Never mind the fact that he's sending prospective buyers away from his site before he even gets a chance to give his sales pitch! Geez!)
So... to eliminate the first problem ("potential" PR penalties) I cloak-out the outgoing links so S.E. spiders can't see/count them. This particular script is written in PHP,
I do it like this:
TOP OF PAGE: <? // include the cloaking function require_once('/full/path/to/cloaking/script/IsSpider.php'); ?>