For a pure site maintenance perspective, relative links are the way to go, as they are cleaner, easier to manage and make the coding of a site move quicker. However, when it comes to SE promotion, absolute links are counted as inbound links and large sites use the power to of absolute links effectively. In terms of link pop. and link rep. there is a difference.
Msg#: 5492 posted 10:58 pm on Oct 17, 2004 (gmt 0)
I switched to absolute links because of Yahoo! servers used multiple adddressing schemes. I could find six copies of the same page cached in search engines. With relative URLs different servers can complete the URL differently. Absolute URL forces compatiblity, stablizing your search engine spidering.
The test is finding multiple pages of the same page cached by search engines. If you can find the same page cached using two or more different URLs switch to absolute.
I am very sure - many servers here just for testing. Make the change on a test domain, wait three months and see the change. Link Pop and Link Rep are improved. Also, the fact that you are now controlling what is counted and what is not, allows you to control PR leak on your site.