301 vs 302 Redirect: Which is Better for SEO?

A 302 redirect denotes a temporary move, while a 301 redirect signifies a page that has relocated permanently to a new location. Read on to discover more.
There are two ways to redirect website visitors and search engines to a different URL from the one they were intending to go to.

Despite the fact that we are aware that the outcomes of these two primary types of redirects will be identical, you should be aware of their distinctions before deciding whether to employ a 301 or 302 redirect for your website.

You could have a detrimental effect on your SEO and search rankings for anywhere between a few weeks to a year if you choose the incorrect type of redirect or decide to use one when one is not necessary.

It’s best to learn what redirects are and when to utilize them in order to prevent it.

The differences between 301 and 302 redirects, when you should use them to modify your URL, and how they affect SEO when you decide to use them are all covered in this post.

HTTP Response Status Codes

The communication technology known as HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) allows data to be transferred between web browsers and servers. The use of response status codes, which show the status of a client’s request, is one of the most crucial features of HTTP. The two most widely used redirects, 301 and 302, as well as what HTTP response status codes are will all be covered in this article. Additionally, we’ll go through when to employ each form of redirect and how it affects SEO.

What is HTTP Response Status Codes

HTTP response status codes are three-digit numbers that indicate the status of a request made by a client to a server.

These codes assist the client in comprehending the result of the request and in taking the necessary action. Five categories have been established:

  • 1xx (Informative): The server is still processing the request after receiving it.
  • 2xx(Successful): The request was successfully received, comprehended, and approved. The most frequent 2xx status code is 200 OK, which denotes a successful request and the return of the requested data from the server.
  • 3xx (Redirection): The request requires more processing, such as going through a redirect. The most frequent 3xx status code is 301 Moved Permanently, which denotes that the requested resource has been relocated permanently.
  • 4xx (Client Error): The request contains bad syntax or cannot be fulfilled by the server. The most frequent 4xx status code is 404 Not Found, which denotes that the server was unable to locate the requested resource.
  • 5xx (Server Error): The server was unable to process a valid request, returning the error code 5xx. The most frequent 500 Internal Server Problem 5xx status code denotes that a server error occurred while processing the request.

The client (web browser, search engine crawler, etc.) can use these codes, which are returned in the HTTP response header, to decide how to treat the response. Web developers and website managers should be aware of these status codes as it aids in problem solving and enhances overall site performance.

What Is A 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that notifies web browsers and search engines that a page has been moved. When a page has been completely deleted or when the content has been permanently transferred to a new URL, this form of redirect is utilized. A 301 redirect helps to keep the page’s search engine rankings by transferring nearly all of the link juice from the old URL to the new URL.

When Should You Use 301 Redirects?

When a page has been completely deleted or when the content has been permanently relocated to a new URL, a 301 redirect should be used. When you want to combine several URLs into one, such as when a website has been redesigned and the URLs have changed, you can use this form of redirect.

What Is A 302 Redirect?

A 302 redirect is a brief redirect that informs web browsers and search engines that a page has been relocated but will soon return to its original URL. When content is temporarily transferred to a different URL or when a page is temporarily withdrawn for maintenance, this form of redirect is employed. Unlike a 301 redirect, a 302 redirect does not pass on link juice, and the original URL will not retain its search engine rankings.

When Should You Use 302 Redirects?

When a page is briefly taken down for maintenance or when the content is temporarily transferred to another URL, you should utilize a 302 redirect. This kind of redirect is also used to divert users to a landing page during a specific campaign or to test a new page before publishing it.

How Do 301 & 302 Redirects Impact SEO?

It is crucial to establish a redirect when a page is moved or deleted from a website so that users and search engines are pointed in the right direction. For this purpose, 301 and 302 redirects are the two most frequently utilized redirects. These rerouteSearch engines and web browsers are informed via a 301 redirect, also referred to as a “permanent redirect,” that a page has been moved permanently to a new site. When a page has been completely deleted or when the content has been permanently transferred to a new URL, this form of redirect is utilized. Search engines will change their indexes to reflect the page’s new location when a 301 redirect is performed, and any link equity (also known as link juice) that the original URL has collected will be transferred to the new URL. This keeps the page’s search engine ranks up, which makes it a superb SEO solution., which is carried out by the web server, lets clients (such as browsers or search engine crawlers) know that the requested resource has been redirected to a new location. These redirects may have quite diverse effects on SEO.

Use 301 redirects, for instance, to transfer any link equity from the old URLs to the new URLs if a website has undergone a rebranding and its URLs have changed. This will ensure that users are forwarded to the appropriate destination and that the updated URLs maintain their search engine rankings.

A 302 redirect, commonly referred to as a “temporary redirect,” informs search engines and web browsers that a page has temporarily been moved but will eventually return to its original URL. When content is temporarily transferred to a different URL or when a page is temporarily withdrawn for maintenance, this form of redirect is employed. Unlike a 301 redirect, a 302 redirect does not pass on link juice, and the original URL will not retain its search engine rankings.

Use a 302 redirect, for instance, to prevent providing link equity to temporary URLs when a website is redesigned and its URLs are temporarily changed. This will ensure that users are forwarded to the right page after the makeover is complete and that the original URLs maintain their search engine rankings.

In conclusion, since the adoption of 301 and 302 redirects can have a significant impact on SEO, it’s critical to recognize the differences between them and apply them appropriately. While 302 redirects do not pass on link juice and the original URL will lose its search engine rankings, 301 redirects do pass on almost all of the link juice from the old URL to the new URL, helping to maintain the page’s search engine ranks.

How To Implement 301 Redirect

Depending on the kind of web server you’re using, there are various ways to implement a 301 redirect. Here are a few examples:

Using a .htaccess file on an Apache web server

  • You can add a line of code to your .htaccess file that will redirect a specific page or directory to a new URL.
  • For example, the following code will redirect all requests for the old page “example.com/old-page” to the new page “example.com/new-page”:
Redirect 301 /old-page /new-page
  • You can also use regular expressions to redirect multiple pages at once.
  • For example, the following code will redirect all requests for pages in the old directory “example.com/old-directory” to the new directory “example.com/new-directory”:
RedirectMatch 301 ^/old-directory/(.*)$ /new-directory/$1

Using the IIS Manager on a Windows server

  • You can use the IIS Manager to set up redirects on a Windows server.
  • In the IIS Manager, select the website that you want to redirect and click on “HTTP Redirect” in the “IIS” section.
  • In the “HTTP Redirect” feature, check the “Redirect requests to this destination” option and enter the new URL.
  • You can also choose to redirect all subdirectories and specific files if needed.

Using a plugin or module on a Content Management System (CMS)

  • Some CMS’s, such as WordPress, have plugins or modules available that will allow you to set up redirects.
  • For example, the “Redirection” plugin for WordPress allows you to set up redirects from within the WordPress admin panel.

Using a service from a hosting provider

  • Many hosting providers offer redirect services, which allow you to set up redirects from within your hosting account.
  • For example, if you are using a cPanel hosting account, you can set up redirects using the “Redirects” feature in cPanel.

The processes and steps for each of these ways may vary, therefore it’s advisable to check with your hosting company or the server documentation to acquire the specifics. It’s crucial to thoroughly verify your redirects to make sure they are functioning properly and directing people and search engines to the appropriate page.

How To Implement 302 Redirect

With a few minor exceptions, the procedure of implementing a 302 redirect is similar to that of a 301 redirect. Depending on the kind of web server you’re using, below are a few examples of how to implement a 302 redirect:

Using a .htaccess file on an Apache web server

  • You can add a line of code to your .htaccess file that will redirect a specific page or directory to a new URL using the mod_alias module.
  • For example, the following code will redirect all requests for the old page “example.com/old-page” to the new page “example.com/new-page” as a 302 redirect:
Redirect 302 /old-page /new-page

Using the IIS Manager on a Windows server

  • You can use the IIS Manager to set up redirects on a Windows server.
  • In the IIS Manager, select the website that you want to redirect and click on “HTTP Redirect” in the “IIS” section.
  • In the “HTTP Redirect” feature, check the “Redirect requests to this destination” option and enter the new URL.
  • You can also choose to redirect all subdirectories and specific files if needed.

Using a plugin or module on a Content Management System (CMS)

  • Some CMSs, such as WordPress, have plugins or modules available that will allow you to set up redirects as 302 redirects.
  • For example, the “Redirection” plugin for WordPress allows you to set up redirects from within the WordPress admin panel and set it as a 302 redirect.

Using a service from a hosting provider

  • Many hosting providers offer redirect services, which allow you to set up redirects from within your hosting account.
  • For example, if you are using a cPanel hosting account, you can set up redirects using the “Redirects” feature in cPanel.

The processes and steps for each of these ways may vary, therefore it’s advisable to check with your hosting company or the server documentation to acquire the specifics. Additionally, it’s crucial to properly verify your redirects to make sure they are operating as intended and directing people and search engines to the appropriate pages.

Redirects Impact on Search Visibility

Redirects control how search engines and users are led to the correct location when a page is moved or deleted from a website, and they can have a big impact on search visibility.

Search engines and web browsers are informed via a 301 redirect, also referred to as a “permanent redirect,” that a page has been moved permanently to a new site. Search engines will change their indexes to reflect the page’s new location when a 301 redirect is performed, and any link equity (also known as link juice) that the original URL has collected will be transferred to the new URL. This keeps the page’s search engine ranks up, which makes it a superb SEO solution. As a result, both users and search engines will experience a seamless transition because the new page will maintain the same authority and ranking as the old page.

A 302 redirect, commonly referred to as a “temporary redirect,” informs search engines and web browsers that a page has temporarily been moved but will eventually return to its original URL. A 302 redirect does not pass on link juice as a 301 redirect does, and the original URL will lose its search engine rankings. As a result, the old page will no longer maintain the same ranking and level of authority as the new page, and vice versa.

It’s crucial to remember that a redirect can hurt your website’s search visibility if it’s not done correctly or if it starts a chain of redirects. It could be interpreted by search engines as “soft 404” problems, which might lower search rankings and visibility. Redirecting to a page that is irrelevant or low-quality might also lower your position in search results.

Redirects are essential for preserving search visibility when a page is relocated or deleted from a website, to sum up. By transferring link equity to the new URL, a 301 redirect maintains a page’s search engine ranks. In contrast, a 302 redirect does not transfer link equity and may cause a drop in search engine rankings. To preserve or boost search exposure, redirects must be implemented correctly and must be relevant and high-quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a 301 and 302 redirect?

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that tells search engines and web browsers that a page has been moved to a new location, and passes on almost all of the link juice from the old URL to the new URL. A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect that tells search engines and web browsers that a page has been moved to a new location, but it will be returning to the original URL. It does not pass on link juice, and the original URL will not retain its search engine rankings.

Can I use a 301 redirect for temporary page removal?

No, a 301 redirect should only be used for permanent page removal or when the content is permanently moved to a new URL. For temporary page removal, a 302 redirect should be used.

How many redirects can I use before it affects my search engine rankings?

It is recommended to minimize the number of redirects as it can affect your search engine rankings. Every time a redirect is used, it loses some of its link juice.

Can I redirect multiple pages at once?

Yes, it is possible to redirect multiple pages at once. This can be done through the use of wildcard redirects, or by creating a spreadsheet of old and new URLs to use in bulk redirects.

Can I redirect a page to an external website?

Yes, it is possible to redirect a page to an external website. However, it is important to ensure that the external website is relevant to your page’s content and that it does not violate any of the search engine guidelines.

Keshav Batra
Keshav Batra

He is a Digital Marketing Expert at The SEO Pedia who helps companies attract visitors, and convert leads through the TheSeoPedia.com blogging platform. He graduated with B.Tech in Computer Science. You can also follow him on Linkedin.

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