301 vs. 302 Redirects

A 301 redirect, commonly referred to as a permanent redirect, is an HTTP status code indicating that a webpage has been moved to a new location permanently. A 302 redirect is an HTTP status code signifying a temporary redirection of a page.

301 Redirect:

From an SEO perspective, the major strength of a 301 redirect is its ability to transfer the majority of the original pages link equity, also known as link juice, to the new URL. This helps in preserving the search rankings that the original page has accumulated over time. SEO professionals employ 301 redirects not only to ensure users are led to the correct web destination but also to maintain the sites organic search performance after URLs are changed due to rebranding, website restructuring, or content consolidation.

Unlike the 301 redirect, a 302 indicates that the move is only short-term, and the original page is expected to be available again in the future.

When implementing a 301 redirect, it is crucial to update all possible internal links to reflect the new URL. This reduction in redirect chains ensures optimal page load speed and user experience, alongside maintaining SEO value.

302 Redirect:

A 302 redirect is an HTTP status code signifying a temporary redirection of a page. As a technical SEO expert, it is important to use a 302 redirect in situations such as A/B testing, maintenance, or when content is temporarily relocated due to specific time-sensitive events.

While a 302 redirect passes users to the new URL, it does not transfer the full link equity from the original URL since search engines understand that the redirection is not permanent. Consequently, the original URL typically retains its search engine ranking, and the new URL does not inherit the ranking history or link equity.

When deploying a 302 redirect, it should be monitored carefully and removed or replaced with a 301 redirect once the temporary need ends. This ensures the original page’s ranking ability is not inadvertently harmed over time due to an extended period of redirection.

For technical SEO practitioners, the correct application of 301 and 302 redirects is fundamental to managing a website’s search engine visibility and user experience. A misapplied redirect can lead to confusion for both users and search engines as well as potential issues with site indexing and ranking. Therefore, choosing the appropriate type of redirect is a key component in any SEO strategy concerning URL changes.


How does a 301 redirect impact SEO?

A 301 redirect passes the majority of the original pages link equity to the new URL, helping to maintain search rankings and organic search performance. It is crucial for preserving SEO value when URLs are changed permanently.

What is the main difference between a 301 and a 302 redirect?

The primary distinction between a 301 and a 302 redirect lies in their permanence. A 301 redirect signifies a permanent move of a webpage to a new location, while a 302 redirect indicates a temporary redirection.

When should a 302 redirect be used?

A 302 redirect is suitable for temporary scenarios, such as A/B testing, site maintenance, or short-term content relocation. It is essential to monitor and replace a 302 redirect with a 301 redirect once the temporary need ends to avoid SEO implications.

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