301 vs. 302 Redirects for SEO: Which Should You Use?

301 vs. 302 Redirects for SEO: Which Should You Use?

People are curious to know more about the difference between a 301 and 302 redirect when it comes to SEO. To a user, they used to appear to work in the same way, but they are different according to Search Engines. Search Engine redirects every request differently.

301 redirection means that the page has been moved to a new location permanently and a 302 means that a page has been moved to a location temporarily. Search engines are designed to automatically predict that it should replace the old files with new ones or keep them. If redirection has been done in the wrong way, it will result in traffic loss.

This is important because it allows changing your domain name without affecting your daily users and traffic when done correctly and chosen the right redirection. As the name suggests, redirection is used forwarding to a location different from the original one.

Simply a web page redirection results in the user’s browser to navigate to a new location rather than an old one. Redirection is a complicated and time-consuming task it may take from several weeks to several months, and sometimes years also if the use case is complex or redirection not done correctly.

 Redirects for SEO: What are these

302 redirection can be done by using UI techniques like meta tag or you can use javascript for redirecting the page to a new location. whereas 301 redirection is somewhat complicated as it uses apache2 or server-side forwarding when you are using a Linux server.

But when using Windows as a server it is a bit more complicated as it requires more configurations.

It is found that people mistakenly use 302 redirections when they have to use 301 redirections. This is because people are not clear when to use 301 and 302 redirections, and they are not clear about their main purpose of redirection.

Google may be using 302 redirections properly, but it’s a discussion topic. If 302 is used in place of 301, then search engines will continue to index the old URL, and will not pretend to the new one as a duplicate. Search rankings will be affected in a negative manner.

People do not prefer changing the website name permanently because they are aware of the shortcomings it may have.

It will result in more time to gain the rankings and also it will cost money like some server configurations needed to forward the page. In Apache 2, you have to change in. Htaccess file for file redirections.

Redirects are used for sending both users and Search Engines like Google to a different URL from the one they requested.

A 301 redirect is for permanent purposes when you want to permanently change the name of the domain. Let’s say you have a domain www.abc.com, and it has some traffic, and due to some issue you have to change the domain name to www.xyz.com, in this case, you will use 301 redirect.

All your existing traffic will be redirected to the new domain name, but it takes time from a few weeks to a month.

301 redirection to used when:

  • Links to any outdated URLs should be sent to the needed page.
  • There are multiple URLs to access your website, then select a single URL as the preferred destination and use 301 redirects to direct the traffic to the requested page.
  • when you are migrating your website from HTTP to HTTPS, then also you should consider 301 redirections.

when you will perform 301 redirections, your previous page will be replaced and you will get all your traffic on the newer page. This must be used when you are sure that you will not regularly change the URL.

This type of redirection passes almost all of the link equity to the new page. Always use 301 redirections when you are sure that you will never return to the older page.

302 Redirect

A 302 Redirect is for a temporary domain name change when you want a temporary domain name change according to some situation.

Let’s say, you have an e-commerce website with the domain name www.shop2.com and on this website, you are selling many types of items like clothes, mobile phones, etc.

On festival sale, you want users to www.shop2.com/festivalSale or on some special discount on electronic items, you need to change to URL to www.shop2.com/electronicsSale, then in this type of case, you can use 302 redirections.

302 redirect is also used in A/B testing, when we want our website to be deployed on another URL temporarily for testing and demo purposes, then also 302 redirections can be used.

302 redirection to use when:

  • Performing A/B testing of a webpage for functionality or design.
  • Getting client feedback on a new page without impacting site ranking or showing a demo to the client.
  • Updating a web page while providing users with a non-stoppable and consistent experience.

Pros of 301 redirect:

There are many useful reasons for using 301 redirects. These are:

  • Dealing with duplicate content issues.
  • Permanent Migration of domains and URLs.

Cons of 301 redirect:

undoing 301 may require the same time and cost to recover the traffic again and search engines may take time to discover and index the page again.

Pros of using 302 Redirect:

A 302 redirect can be a great choice because it:

  • Provides Same URL ranking.
  • Passes the user to a new URL that may be for a short amount of time.
  • It can also be useful when we are providing a service that is coming soon or is temporarily not available and will be activated soon it is back again.

Cons of 302 Redirect:

  • It does not pass link equity.
  • 302 will also keep the old index and search engines will continue to crawl it.

So, depending on the use case, choosing the correct redirection is important because it will result in recovering the traffic from the previous locations. If you are still confused about critical situations for using them, you must consult your SEO services provider to do it for you.