My forum is getting attacked by spammers with Chinese IP's.
Replies are created to discussion topics, always short responses and along with the response an image is inserted using forum code which is then modified by the forum to an HTML image tag (no anchor tag).
So beautiful picture [img]http://www.coupon-domain-goes-here.com/avatar2.jpg[/img]
The replies are created by humans not bots because they are slightly relevant to the discussion.
The images do not display so regular forum members have no idea that this is spam. the reason they don't display is because the images return a 302 response code and redirects to a URl like this
http:// www.coupon-domain-goes-here .com/avatar.php?u=2
which then redirects with a 302 to another image on the same domain which is also called avatar.gif.
http:// www.coupon-domain-goes-here .com/images/avatar.gif
My question is why are they doing this. Is there an SEO benefit. There is no link created. It's only an image so the URl in the middle which is a PHP file should not be getting any link juice from search engines. Or maybe I am wrong?
What do you think?