I am working on a website that has a huge amount of 301s in it due to new versions of the website being roled out and thus different URL structures being used. I have noticed that some of the old URLs 301 to another "newer, but still old" URL which in turn then gets 301ed to the actual current page.
An example would be:
www.example.com/oldest_link/foobar/ would 301 to
www.example.com/old_link/foobar/ which in turn would 301 to
Although this works just fine for the user, I wanted to know if this would involke some sort of "SEO penalty" because the Google bots gets bounced a few times before landing on the correct page to crawl.