enigma1 - 9:21 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)
Johnmu just posted on his twitter about making sure your contact forms work properly, I think this is very important as well...
Yes it is important but a search engine cannot tell - and won't even try - to process a form via /POST. It's up to the site owners to ensure this. Therefore I don't see how it will affect rankings from that angle.
Restricting bots completely from accessing pages with forms now is a different matter. I would think it all comes down to how the navigation is setup and what the site's owner wants to expose.
For example if the form is linked via js then a search engine may not be able to access it but I don't see why it will affect ranking in some way. Looks to me more of a suggestion than anything else.
@dstiles, the problem with sending headers to spiders restricting access is that they may not always access the robots.txt to determine whether to visit a particular page.
If for example I post a hard-coded link to your form page on my domain the spider will follow from what I have seen. It won't check the robots file in advance. I don't know in such cases if and how the page ranking is affected. I just assume it considers it public because others are linking to it. And other search engines do the same.