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Our onclick processing is becoming more widespread, but keep in mind it’s still an area where we’re constantly improving. We already detect many ads generated by onclick events.
To prevent PR [PageRank] flow, it remains a good practice to do things like have the onclick-generated links in an area that’s blocked from robots, or to use a url redirector that’s robots.txt disallow’d. Penalties for spam techniques have been and will continue to be enforced, but as you know, we work extremely hard to minimize false positives.
Googlebot is now able to construct much of the page and can access the onClick event contained in most tags. For now, if the onClick event calls a function that then constructs the URL, Googlebot can only interpret it if the function is part of the page (rather than in an external script).
Some examples of code that Googlebot can now execute include:
<tr onclick="myfunction('index.html')"><a href="#" monclick="myfunction()">new page</a>
These links pass both anchor text and PageRank.
These links pass both anchor text and PageRank. ...that looks to me like a report of a statement given at the conference by a Googler.
[edited by: tedster at 7:19 pm (utc) on May 23, 2010]