ichthyous - 1:45 pm on Aug 10, 2013 (gmt 0)
Hi Robert, thanks for your response. The tags are taken from the keywords used for each image. They are rendered as links on the page, which the user can click to see an album of images relating to that tag.
I did some checking and Google has the tag pages indexed, but they don't bring in a lot of traffic as entry pages so the pages don't rank well. I think that not many people use them so I have removed them entirely from the most import category and subcategory pages on my site. They still remain on thousands of the lowest level image pages though. If I remove them all suddenly then I will have hundreds or thousands of missing pages...not good.
In addition to the potential hit by the Panda algo, I am wondering whether removing all these tag links will improve the page rank. According to the Matt Cutts video on tag clouds (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYPX_ZmhLqg) all the links can drain the page's PR.
I want to remove them from all pages, but what would be the best way to deal with all the 404s if I turn them all off? I don't particularly want to have to redirect all of these low ranking tag pages. Having too many 404 errors though will also potentially drag down the site.