We've been debating the following SEO question at our office:
If you block bot access to a page either via robots.txt or on-page noindex metadata, does that negate the value of any backlinks to that page?
We have a client who wants to block some event booking form pages from being indexed as each booking form page has a unique URL parameter and the pages are "clogging up" the Google index; however lots of websites link to those booking form pages and we wouldn't want to lose the value of those links.
Any opinions welcomed.
@lese I assumed that blocking a page using robots.txt pretty much guaranteed it wouldn't appear in SERPS.
Can you further clarify: "Using robots.txt, a blocked page can still be indexed by Google (URL only, or with data from trusted 3rd party sources)"?
@joshak Thanks. The pages I'm trying to remove from the index don't have much content value - they are just event booking forms. So I'd prefer to get the higher value pages only in the index and direct the link value of the event booking pages to other pages on the website.