301 Redirect vs. 302 Redirect: Which Is Better?

September 6, 2017
owl WECRA | technical SEO auditing

What is an URL redirect?
URL redirection (or URL forwarding), is a server response for any request to a specific web page, making it available under more than one URL address. When a web browser attempts to open an URL that has been redirected, a page with a different URL is opened. In short: All traffic intended for URL-A is redirected to URL-B. A redirect is a way to send both users and search engines to a different URL from the one they originally requested.

What is a 301 redirect?
A 301 redirect (Moved Permanently) is a permanent redirect which passes the link juice (or ranking power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In short: All traffic intended for URL-A is permanently redirected to URL-B. All link popularity and existing SEO value for URL-A should also be transferred to URL-B.

What is a 302 redirect?
A 302 redirect (Found) means that the move is only temporary. 302 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In short: All traffic intended for URL-A is temporarily redirected to URL-B. Search engines need to figure out whether to keep the old page or replace it with the one found at the new location.

What is a 307 redirect?
A 307 redirect (Moved Temporarily) is the HTTP 1.1 successor of the 302 redirect. While the major crawlers will treat it like a 302 in some cases, it is best to use a 301 for almost all cases. In short: All traffic intended for URL-A is temporarily moved to URL-B. Search engines need to figure out whether to keep the old page or replace it with the one found at the new location.

technical redirect auditing

Audit your 301/302 Redirects before they Ruin Your SEO Rankings

301 Redirect vs. 302 Redirect: Which Is Better?
In the real world, businesses avoid changing their names because they appear shady. A redirecting request from one page to another also adds extra loading time. Loading time increases exponentially when a page from one domain is redirected to another domain's web page. Who can blame SERP's for employing the same logic: if you’re changing URLs, you might be up to no good.

In any instances, the 301 Redirect is the best method for implementing redirects on an existing URL.

When permanently moving a web site or a web page, the best practice is to use a 301 redirect. A 302 solution in this situation seems incorrect. By saying “temporary move” a 302 tells search engines to keep the old domain or page indexed, but it would be desirable for them to index the new location and forget the old one.

If a 302 is used instead of a 301, search engines might continue to index the old URL, and disregard the new one as a duplicate. Link popularity might be divided between the two URLs, hurting search rankings. Search engines might figure out how to handle the 302, or they might not.

technical redirect auditing

Are your redirects sending visitors & bots on a wild goose chase?

301 Redirect vs. 302 Redirect: Which Is Better?

by Csaba Miklós time to read: 6 min
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