Dawn Anderson asked Google’s John Mueller if redirecting a non-relevant page would cause the destination page (where the redirect it going towards) to be less relevant and cause any ranking issues for its relevant queries. John said no, “I can’t think of a way that would have a negative effect there,” he added.
The conversation was on mastodon and here is what dawn asked:
Is it possible that 301 redirects from less relevant pages (but not irrelevant to the target URL), could actually cause target URLs to be less precise to queries given the folding together process? ie less precision since we know there is a folding together thing goes on (it was on an video on deduping by a Googler at a conference)
John Mueller replied:
I can’t think of a way that would have a negative effect there. I have seen cases where a URL will also rank for new queries (eg adult sites redirecting to a non-adult page), but that shouldn’t negatively affect the other queries that the page ranks for.
The second part of his answer is also interesting, about the short-term ranking of redirected target pages – but I wouldn’t get bogged down by that part.
One note, redirects from non-relevant pages could be seen as soft 404s by Google, Glenn Gabe did a case study on it and it jives with the redirect soft 404s we covered here numerous times.
Forum discussion at mastodon.