With #2 I was just actually referring to just "a href" links from the old site to the new one - as this is what some other seo guy said would work best, although I don't know how qualified he is to say as ive never met him.
soxos - I was under the impression that you're being asked ultimately to dump the old site... effectively changing domain name... and that, given that you're stuck with the new site or an improved version of the new site, you'd like to preserve as much of the old site's value as you can.
It sounds though, from this particular comment by the other seo guy, like you're talking about keeping both sites up. The scenario he suggests, of keeping both sites and linking a lot from old pages to new pages, is not
the way I would go. Google would very possibly see the links as excessive cross-linking. It sounds also, with both sites up, that there would be a good chance of dupe content as well.
If you kept both sites, possibly you could use the robots noindex,follow meta tag on the old site to get around the dupe situation. I'm not sure how Google would look at the multiple links from the old site... but its likely that it would devalue them. I can't imagine that you'd get anywhere near the inbound link credit you originally had for your well-linked original content on the old site.
Does anyone else have any thoughts on this as the other seo guy has said its questionable whether a page by page 301 will even pass on link value.
Depends on what each of you has in mind when you say "pass on link value"... ie, what link value you are envisioning preserving.
Keep in mind that when a page is 301 redirected, the content of the original page disappears, and when that happens, any links from the old page also disappear. So, if the other seo guy is thinking that links from the old pages (going either to the new site or to other pages within the old site) would be lost, he is technically correct. The old page will be gone. But
, when you 301 a site, you don't need to preserve links from the old page to the new one. You also don't need to preserve internal nav links. The new site takes over here, with its own nav and its own linking scheme.
In the situation we're discussing, what you want to preserve with 301s are external inbounds from other domains to your old pages. You should be redirecting these to your new pages.
I should add that in cases where I redirect an entire old site to a new site, I do page-by-page redirects only for the old pages that have external inbound links. Otherwise, I redirect the domain and allow the new site structure to take over and sort things out.
Re preserving PR etc on page-by-page redirects, you've also got to be concerned about "chained redirects". Do some searches on WebmasterWorld for chained redirects
. Take a look at these discussions, among others... 301 redirect rules causing a double jump http://www.webmasterworld.com/apache/4113724.htm
[webmasterworld.com] Changing Domain Name - Best Practices? http://www.webmasterworld.com/domain_names/4115520.htm
As to how much PR might be lost in a well-written redirect, look at this thread... 301 Redirect Means "Some Loss of PageRank" - says Mr Cutts http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4097565.htm