ZydoSEO - 10:48 pm on Nov 23, 2012 (gmt 0)
I don't see how this proves anything one way or the other.
I've NOINDEXed many a page on many sites and never seen adverse affects to rankings of other pages as a result.
Where is your repeatable proof that NOINDEXing a page actually DOES lead to negative affects in rankings of other pages? Simply "hypothesizing" that it does cause issues doesn't make it so.
Proof is in the puddin'. I've done it repeatedly on many types & sized sites w/ no adverse effects. You (and the thread you referenced) simply "theorized" that it might cause issues without any example (much less repeatable examples) where it has caused issues.
Hopefully, you are aware that the <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> element only prevents Google from indexing the "content" and showing that URL in their SERPs. It does NOT prevent Google from leaving that page in their link graph, following that NOINDEXed page's outbound links, noting link text used on those link in the link graph, flowing PageRank out on that page's outbound links (because they are considered FOLLOWed links), etc. And this, you'll be pleased to hear, I have heard many times from different Googlers including Cutts.
Cutts eludes to it in the following video, though I've also heard him talk about this in other interviews, videos, and in person at Pubcon/SMX on many occasions.
Hopefully the mods will leave the link.
A <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> is logically equivalent to <meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow">. It is not logically equivalent to <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">.
In fact, if the nodexing of some pages has no effect, then it seems to indicate that the Google algorithm continued to take account of the content of those pages even after they were noindexed, which supports my argument.
The fact that those outbound links on the NOINDEXed page are actually FOLLOWed links even though the page's content is not indexed is a much more plausable explanation IMO as to why rankings of other pages on a site don't change when you NOINDEX one of your pages.
It's not likely the "content" of the NOINDEXed page that was helping surrounding pages rank as much as it was the site's architecture. Specifically, it's internal linking structures (like top navigation, left navigations, breadcrumbs, contextual links, etc.) that appear on the NOINDEXed page likely influences how other pages on the site ranked FAR more so than does the content of the NOINDEXed page. And the credit other pages are given for inbound links from the NOINDEXed page are not affected at all by NOINDEXing that page. The outbound links still remain followed.
But we can agree to disagree. I'm just saying I have never, in all the times that I've used a <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> seen any evidence of what you're hypothesizing.