On a site I'm currently working on, there is a 301 Redirect to redirect a nice short URL for users to type in when trying to find a particular piece of content - e.g. www.mydomain.com/apply -> www.mydomain.com/some/application/page
To my knowledge, it is best practice to use a 301 redirect here - the content is located in just one position and we want that page to be ranked accordingly.
I've been told that "quite often" users who want to visit the site mistakenly enter the URL into the search bar of the browser instead of the address bar. The search result will just return a link to the site, but not that particular page, so they then click through and just reach out homepage and get confused.
They have asked whether we can index that page so that it appears in the search result, so the users can click on it there. My initial reaction is to be against this. As far as I am aware, it is bad practice to try and force an index of a 301 Redirect, isn't it? Is it even possible, how do you do it?
I've tried looking into this and it sounds a bit similar to a "doorway" page, but rather than the aim here being to try and fake our way into a better page ranking, it is to make sure the user can find our site in this 1 specific search.
I'm currently of the opinion that we shouldn't try to bend the rules to cater for this specific scenario, but I'm struggling to think of alternatives that will also help the situation.
What if we assumed that the page rankings for the true content page are not important, and general users wouldn't search for it anyway, but we didn't want to harm page rankings of the whole site in general?