Robert_Charlton - 3:25 am on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)
jdancing - Regarding your questions about "follow" vs "nofollow"....
Would I be better off using noindex, follow because the spider come to the page and at least get out to the pages I want to rank via internal linking.
Yes, your original instincts about the "follow" attribute were correct.
It seems the general opinion is noindex, follow pages do accumulate pagerank so I if I want stop PR from flowing from my primary pages to these pages I need to use the noindex, nofollow and live without the internal links from these pages that may be providing some internal linking boost.
I think you overthought this and got it backwards... and the understanding hinges on the meaning of the word "accumulate".
If you mean "accumulate" in the sense of "hold onto" or "hoard" or "drain" from the rest of the site, that's what "noindex,nofollow" does. I think you would be better off using "noindex,follow", per your original thoughts.
As I understand it, "nofollow", either as a rel="nofollow" link attribute or in the meta robots tag, is a PageRank black hole.
Pages with the meta robots "noindex" tag that are spidered by Google have their contents and related data collected but are not shown in the public index. These pages can "accumulate" PageRank, in the sense that Google is aware of the pages and can follow links to them.
It helps here to think of PageRank (and other associated linking factors) as a liquid... link juice... and to think of the link structure as plumbing. Link juice can flow to a "noindex" page.
Depending on the "follow" or "nofollow" attribute, a noindexed page can distribute PageRank to other pages which this page links to, or it can hold onto it. Note that "follow" is default behavior, which means that the link juice can flow from a "noindex" or "noindex,follow" page.
If you use "nofollow", though, essentially you've turned off the links leading out of the page with the meta robots "nofollow" attribute, and link juice doesn't flow through them.
Links with the rel="nofollow" also prevent link juice from flowing through the specific links the attribute is on.
Opening the outbound links on a page does not mean that you empty the page of PageRank. This is a commmon misconception which can lead to PageRank hording. In the PageRank formula, PageRank is viewed as constantly recirculating throughout the site and through the web. PageRank is a measure of popularity of a page... of all the combined link juice recommendations that flow through the web to this page. It's not a measure of how much PageRank is left on a page after you've linked out. Thus, the word "accumulate" is misleading, at least with regard to a single page.
What the meta robots "follow" attribute does is to allow the PageRank to continue circulating, so the page isn't walled off from the rest of the site.