301 vs 302 Redirects and When Should They Be Used to Improve SEO?

You’re in the right place if you need a basic tutorial and are confused about the differences between 301 and 302 redirects.

The page moves permanently with a 301 redirect. Fully pass link juice or ranking power.

The page is temporarily unavailable with a 302 redirect. Link juice is not passed.

Looking for a clearer explanation with an actual example?

Assume you recently moved into a new home:

  • 301 redirect: Like posting a permanent notice at your former house saying, “Moved to [new address].” Everybody knows you’ll stay in the new Home.
  • 302 redirect: This is like leaving a message saying, “Away on vacation, back in [number of days].” Everyone expects you to be at the old house soon.
redirect

This guide covers when and how to use 301 and 301 redirects.

301 vs 302 Redirects for SEO: A Beginner’s Guide

301 Redirect: When to Use & How?

Purpose: When the original URL is inaccessible forever, use this to move the old page’s link juice to the new one.

When do I use a 301 redirect?

  • When a page has been relocated permanently.
  • When a page is deleted, its SEO value is still desired.
  • When you wish to combine several URLs into one (particularly when using the term cannibalization).
  • When you wish to raise the SEO of your website.
  • If you alter your website’s domain name.

Benefits of 301 Redirects:

  • Users and search engines are redirected to your website’s new location automatically.
  • It gives the new page all of its “link juice,” or ranking power, which raises its position in search results.
  • Keeps traffic from declining by pointing visitors to the updated address and preventing “404 Not Found” messages and broken links.
  • Because customers land on the appropriate page rather than the broken page, it improves the user experience.

How to do a 301 redirect?

Using a plugin or tool is the simplest way to install 301 redirects, while other alternatives exist, such as altering the .htaccess file.

Here are a few well-liked plugins that you can utilize:

Redirection: Over two million people have been using the most widely used plugin for more than ten years.

Install this plugin to quickly and easily establish and manage redirects without knowing about Apache or Nginx.

After installing the plugin, select the settings and add a new redirection by providing the source and destination URLs.

redirection

302 Redirect: When to Use & How?

Purpose: When the original URL is momentarily unavailable, use this instead.

When do I use a 302 redirect?

  • If you want users to browse another page while a particular page is temporarily unavailable.
  • When you wish to send users to multiple versions of a page while conducting A/B testing.
  • When transferring your website to a different domain.
  • When maintenance causes a page to become momentarily inaccessible.

Benefits of 302 Redirects:

  • Visitors are temporarily sent to your website’s new page.
  • Has no bearing on the original page’s rating.
  • A 302 redirect’s destination can be quickly changed without impacting the original page.
  • Stops “404 Not Found” mistakes.
  • Without establishing permanent links, you can guide visitors to your website to seasonal content (like Black
  • Friday postings, time-based event pages, etc.).
  • It can be utilized when a 301 redirect isn’t the best option.

How to do a 302 redirect?

The procedure for putting a 302 redirect into effect is the same as for a 301.

The most control may be had by using the .htaccess file, if you are comfortable with programming.

If not, you can perform 302 redirects by installing the following plugins:

These plugins assist you in setting up 302, 307, and 301 redirects. These plugins are useful (and free) for creating temporary and permanent redirects.

If you use Cloudflare, this is a short guide on how to perform 302 or 301 redirects quickly;

Type in the pattern of URLs you wish to 301 (or 302) redirect. Select URL Forwarding by clicking the dropdown menu.

Next, choose your Status Code using the dropdown menu. Save it after entering the destination.

This is how it appears on Cloudflare:

301, 302, and 307

How can I test my redirects?

Thus, how can you ascertain whether or not the redirection was executed correctly?

You may check if your browser automatically reroutes to the new URL by going directly to the old one.

Alternatively, you can confirm 301 and 302 redirects using free internet resources like Redirect-Checker.org.

Likewise, if you perform a 301 or 302 redirect, use the tool above to confirm that the redirect is functioning properly.

Best Practices: 301 and 302 Redirects

The following are guidelines for utilizing 302 and 301 redirects.

  • Redirected pages should have informative URLs. URLs should contain keywords.
  • Regularly check redirects for dead links. Broken Link Checker, Xenu’s Link Sleuth, etc., can check your site for broken links.
  • Use 301 redirects for permanent page updates. Use 301 redirects to avoid duplicate content and term cannibalization by redirecting several URLs to a single preferred version.
  • For temporary website modifications like maintenance downtime, A/B testing, website staging, holiday promotions like Black Friday, or page outages, use a 302 redirect.
  • Choose the right redirect type (301 or 302) for permanent or temporary moves.
  • Update any internal links to the former page location.
  • Reduce redirect chains (e.g., A to B, then B to C) to avoid Google penalties and technical difficulties. Long redirect chains degrade page load times and confuse search engines. Directly redirect from the old URL to the new one whenever possible.
  • Redirect plugins or programs (like 301 redirects) can centralize redirect management.
  • Tracking all 301 and 302 redirections is important for reference and maintenance.

FAQs: 301 and 302 Redirects

When moving a website page permanently, use a 301 redirect. A 302 redirect is used to reroute visitors to another page temporarily.

Since 301 redirects permanently migrate pages from HTTP to HTTPS, you should use them.

It can take days or weeks since 302 redirect is temporary.

Both HTTP status codes reflect URL movement. 301 is permanent, 302 transitory.

No, Having a 302 redirect won’t damage your SEO. However, 302s for permanent redirects don’t send link juice (ranking power) to the new page, which can hurt SEO.

Avoid chaining redirects, which impede page loading. Limit URL redirects to one kind.

Related SEO Resources:

Final thoughts

It would help if you mastered website redirections. Why? Because you’ll change URLs, migrate to new domains, or redirect consumers to campaign landing sites.

You may better manage your links when you use 301 and 302 redirects effectively.

What are your thoughts on 301 vs. 302 redirects? Any queries? Share in the comments.

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