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I have two websites. One is rather old and used to be my main site, and it still has a good bit of PageRank. The newer site is passing the old one in terms of SEO. On my old site, I have a ASP page that was used to do link track logging (pre google analytics days). Problem is, it's basically an open redirect that looks like this: http://example.com/track.asp?url=http://example2.com

Over the last 5 days about 50,000 links have been passed through that ASP page, and google WMT recently notified me that many of the links are 404 now. Funnily enough, the redirect is a 302, so I'm not too worried about losing Link Juice to these spammy pages, but I was curious if I could capitalize on what's happening?

My basic idea would be to redirect any of these spammy links to my new site with a 301. So I would update the ASP page code to detect if the link was from a spammer and tell google to go to my new site.

My problem is that I've worked very hard to get SEO up to speed on the new site and don't want this to backfire. Has anyone ever been penalized for this? Because google might assume that I'm also responsible for the backlinks since this looks a bit like link farming.

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    My concern would be if this redirect ASP page can be used to redirect to anywhere. This is not that uncommon and spammers love these pages. If you are getting 50k links, it is likely that is what is happening. This is not what you want. It will hurt rankings. I advise you check to make sure this is not the case, redirecting to anywhere, and kill it immediately. A 404 is good but a 410 is better. If this is the redirect for your site, there are likely better redirect methods and I would advise looking into this. I do not know IIS anymore or I would jump in with more. – closetnoc Jan 21 '16 at 17:46
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You don't want spammy links pointing to your good site. Instead of helping your site rank, they would be more likely to get your site penalized by Google's Penguin algorithm. It penalizes sites that appear to be using shady links to manipulate rankings.

If I were you I would close your open redirect. Modify your tracking redirect so that it only redirects to your own site. Make it so that http://example.com/track.asp?url=http://example.com works but http://example.com/track.asp?url=http://example2.com is an error. Even a 404 error would be fine, but a 403 forbidden might be more explicit.

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    If there is even a small chance of negative results, the my path is pretty clear. I'll stick with doing SEO the right way then! – Brian Jan 21 '16 at 17:44
  • Good choice. You don't want a penalty. – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 21 '16 at 17:46

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