Dangling links are simply links to a page that is either non-indexable because of:
- a robots.txt Disallow statement
- a meta noindex
- some other method of stopping a page from being indexed
- a page that has not been indexed yet
- a page that does not link to anything else
These pages are sort of like an abyss. Stuff goes in, but doesn’t come back out.
These can result in lost PageRank as the Link Juice is being distributed to a page that the search engines don’t care about.
Don’t Freak Out
You probably have enough link juice for everyone and don’t even know it. A link going to a new page will be considered dangling until the page is indexed, as long as the page is indexable. I had one instance of a contact page being indexed and considered dangling at the same time. I had 2 nofollow links on a page to the employment page, and 1 dofollow link to the same page. The page was not showing as being indexed using the toolbars I use, however it was in the index, being cached and showing in the SERPS.