pageoneresults - 8:40 pm on Mar 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
Fwiw, in my experience, the use of the NOINDEX META tag doesn't actually stop the pages being indexed, they just won't show in the first set of results shown to a searcher. They will however often appear in the "repeat the search with the omitted results included" results.
Hmmm, I've not seen that behavior. I just double checked too because you never know when Google will break protocol. But, they haven't in this instance. Using noindex will keep that document out of their index, no matter what you use as a query to try and find it. Or at least that has been my experience up until about 5 minutes ago. It does just as it says on the tin. ;)
Show me a search that displays/reveals a document with a noindex directive and I'll change my thinking on this.
Added: This is what I get when attempting to locate documents that I have which contain a noindex directive...
Your search - site:example.com/noindexed-document - did not match any documents.
Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
Try different keywords.
Try more general keywords.
It has been like that for as long as I can remember.