The most compelling theory as to why homepage and category page rankings dropped after the informational content pages were removed has to do with links. As Industry Email List mentioned above, the informational content pages had a fair amount of links from other domains pointing to them. In their content, there were also contextual links Industry Email List pointing to the homepage and category pages, which were supposed to convey the relevance of the backlinks pointing to the informational content pages to pages that could meet search intentions more commercial.
After the informational content pages were deleted, the backlinks pointing to them lost all relevance, and the internal links pointing from the Industry Email List informational content pages to other pages in the domain were also completely lost. Industry Email List However, there are a number of other factors that could play a role and there are also unknowns that should be addressed. URLs of informational content pages have been redirected to the homepage, which likely results in backlinks pointing to the original pages no longer passing full relevance to the redirect targets, as their content is completely different originally linked pages.
Google officials have confirmed that redirects to Industry Email List less relevant pages can be treated as “soft 404s”. The question arises whether this situation would have played out differently if the URLs of the informational content pages had returned 404 or 410 status codes instead of redirecting to the homepage. Would a backlink to a 404 Industry Email List page or to a URL that returns a 410 status code lose less relevance than a “soft 404” caused by a redirect to an unmatched target? It would seem that in this particular case, it wouldn't make any difference if the pages returned a 404 or 410 status code instead of redirecting to the homepage. The