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Maybe this is a trend where, like advertisers, web site owners themseleves have realised that there is more to "value" than getting eyeballs?
Maybe they are gearing up for subscription based access as well (maybe they forgot Slate (:-))
Anyway we are seeing our incoming links declining as linking to the referral comes up with a password dialogue when it was previously freely available. Spiders will not be able toindex these pages therefore and give us credit for the incoming citation.
The obvious question comes up then, on whether using incoming links as a criterion for Page Rank will decrease in value as this trend continues. Especially as its usually the most content filled and objective pages that are being put behind passwords/ etc?
We know there has always been this inaccessible - invisible Web but are we right in thinking it is getting bigger?
Any way, just throwing it in for discussion. It probably only affects content/informational based sites like ours..