seoskunk - 10:19 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)
"I'm curious if they point to 404's, will they still count against you."
I can't say with absolute certainty, but I suspect that they WOULD.
and I suspect that it would cause your site not to rank for that keyword for ANY page on that domain (if it is a keyword-specific Penguin affliction).
John Mu of google said this, hope it helps............
"In general, if you remove the page that is being linked to (such as a spammy forum thread) and make sure that it returns a 404/410 HTTP response code, we'll ignore the links to those pages. If these links are primarily pointing at threads that you've removed, then there's no need to move the whole forum to a new URL. If you find that there's a significant number of problematic links that you can't remove which are linking to general parts of your forum (eg the forum homepage), moving the forum to a different URL might be a possibility (but I'd only recommend doing that if you're absolutely sure that these links are causing problems -- we're pretty good at ignoring spammy links). If you choose to move the forum, then StevieD has some good suggestions on how that could be done (make sure that your 404 page is useful to users too)."