Hi Bruce ~
To answer your question about links and a sim spider --
relative links (which are links that do not contain the full URL but
just the individual page in relation to where they are placed) are
spidered just as well as absolute links (which are links containing
the full URL of a page).
I have a feeling you may have used a sim spider which contains errors.
I found one on the WebDevStore website, here:
whatever happens, it does produce an error when using "co.uk" in the
URL, although it doesn't seem to have problems with the "regular" top
level domains (ie., .com, .net, etc.) Maybe it's the two periods
because of ".co.uk"
Previously, problems have been noted with certain sim spiders when
using relative links. For some reason, certain sim spiders do not
always realistically simulate how Google - or any other search engine
- would read the links, because Google and other search engines can
find and index relative links with no problems.
If you think about it - server side includes (SSI) and cascading
stylesheets (CSS) are fed via relative links; and if search engines or
browsers couldn't read relative links, they would not be able to
deliver your content as you want it seen.
I located a discussion from Webmaster World on just that subject -
errors in sim spider simulators - in a thread entitled "Sim Spider not
finding links - not finding internal links":
If you use the Sim Spider available on the Search Engine World site,
and this Sim Spider works properly, you will see that the relevant
links are listed and are spidered properly.
The Search Engine World Sim Spider is here:
When I entered your full URL in this Sim, I got the following results:
As you can see, the relative links are fine, and Google or any other
search engine will have no problem spidering your site.
I hope this helps - I ran across a similar problem using a sim spider,
and the sim spider on the Search Engine World site was recommended.
Search terms -
* sim spider
* sim spider + errors
Google Answers Researcher