A Guide To 301 vs 302 Redirects For SEO


There are a number of methods to redirect a webpage or a whole web site, the 2 important methods being both a 301 or 302 HTTP response code.

Selecting the best one for the suitable scenario is essential for web optimization as a result of it sends a sign to Google about how to answer the redirected webpage, together with whether or not to think about it as canonical.

Whereas Google is consistently evolving the way it handles alerts, that offered by 301 and 302 response codes has not modified.

On this information, you’ll study what 301 and 302 redirects are for, when every one is used, how they affect web optimization, and extra.

HTTP Response Standing Codes

When a browser requests a webpage from a server, the server sends a response to the browser to inform it if the request was profitable.

That response is named an HTTP Response Standing Code.

The response code tells the browser the standing of the request for a webpage.

There are 5 sorts of HTTP Response Standing Codes:

  1. Info responses.
  2. Profitable responses.
  3. Redirection responses.
  4. Consumer error responses.
  5. Server error responses.

What Are 301 And 302 Redirects?

A redirect response standing code is a message from the server to the browser, telling the browser that the webpage not exists on the requested URL.

The redirect response code additionally informs the browser that the requested webpage has moved to a different URL and that the server is now redirecting the browser to the requested webpage on the new location.

You would possibly need to redirect a web page for quite a lot of causes, together with:

  • Selecting the canonical URL between WWW and non-WWW.
  • You’ve got a brand new web site or web page.
  • Forcing the browser to make use of HTTPS when it visits utilizing HTTP.
  • You’re fixing a webpage and wish customers to go to a distinct web page whereas the outdated one is beneath building.

The aim of the redirect decides which form of redirect to decide on.

Selecting the flawed possibility might affect your web optimization.

Selecting the right redirect ensures that you simply’ll at the very least keep your present rankings.

What Is A 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect sends the message to search engines like google {that a} web site or web page has been moved completely.

Everlasting means a couple of 12 months or longer. After a 12 months, examine to see if persons are nonetheless being redirected to your web site.

If they’re, work out the place they’re coming from and attempt to repair the supply earlier than you cancel the redirect.

Google’s John Mueller just lately beneficial maintaining a 301 redirect in place for at the very least a 12 months.

When Ought to You Use 301 Redirects?

Many individuals use a 301 redirect once they buy domains that they need redirected to their major area.

You would possibly do that with domains which are a misspelling of a model or variations of the area title, for instance.

It’s additionally useful to make use of a 301 when establishing which area is your default web site: “www.instance.com” or simply “instance.com.”

It’s acceptable to make use of a 301 in case you’ve merged two web sites collectively or have outdated URLs for another motive, as effectively.

What Is A 302 Redirect?

A 302 redirect lets search engines like google know {that a} web site or web page has been moved briefly.

When Ought to You Use 302 Redirects?

Use any such redirect if you wish to ship customers to a brand new web site or web page for a brief time period, reminiscent of once you’re redesigning or updating your web site.

Solely use a 302 in case you’re planning on ultimately bringing the outdated web page again or establishing a brand new one.

You could possibly additionally use a 302 redirect if you wish to check out a brand new web page and get shopper suggestions with out hurting your rankings from the unique web page.

How Do 301 & 302 Redirects Affect web optimization?

Once you use a 301, Google removes the outdated web page from their index, and most worth (hyperlink fairness) from that web page is transferred to the brand new one.

With that mentioned, it’s essential to notice that anytime you progress a web page from one URL to a different, it is going to take search engines like google a while to note the change – and due to this fact so that you can see any potential affect/change in rankings.

Typically, this time interval is comparatively quick.

When used appropriately, a 302 redirect won’t harm your web optimization efforts.

Once you select any such redirect, the unique web page stays listed in Google and no worth (hyperlink fairness) is transferred to the brand new URL as a result of Google is aware of that is simply momentary.

Thus, you’ll retain any rankings, site visitors worth, and authority that web page might need.

The place issues are likely to come up is when individuals don’t know the distinction between the 2, they usually select a 302 to redirect a web site completely.

Primarily, they’re creating a brand new web site or web page and never transferring over any of the worth they’ve accrued over time from the outdated web site or webpage.

That’s why it’s essential to grasp the distinction between a 301 and a 302, and when it’s acceptable to make use of each.

How To Implement Redirects

According to Google:

“Establishing server aspect redirects requires entry to the server configuration information (for instance, the .htaccess file on Apache) or setting the redirect headers with server aspect scripts (for instance, PHP).

You may create each everlasting and momentary redirects on the server aspect.”

When you’re unsure how to do that, there may be an Apache .htaccess Tutorial and a URL Rewriting Guide.

In case your server doesn’t run on Apache, you’ll need to contact your host for path.

In case your web site makes use of WordPress, you possibly can benefit from the next plugins which are supposed to make redirection as straightforward as potential:

Redirects Affect Search Visibility

Whereas there are 9 redirect response codes {that a} server can ship to a browser, two are used most frequently: the 301 and 302 HTTP response standing codes.

Selecting the right one in your functions is crucial for web optimization.

Which means understanding which one to make use of so as to assist Google rank your web site the place it belongs.

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