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301 Redirect vs. 302 Redirect: When To Use Them?

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Many marketers, SEO experts, and website owners sometimes substitute 302 redirects for 301 redirects. Although both URL redirects land internet users on the appropriate pages they want to visit, using the wrong one can lead to website issues.

One of the main reasons for website issues is that search engines handle these URL redirects differently. Since using the wrong redirect can cause organic traffic to plummet, it’s best to learn the differences between 302 and 301 redirects. Additionally, knowing when to use them is fundamental to a solid SEO strategy.

Temporary Redirect vs. Permanent Redirect

As mentioned, it is of paramount importance to learn the differences between 301 and 302 redirects. Here’s what you need to know about them.

What Are 301 Redirects?

A 301 redirect is an HTTP status code utilized by webmasters, SEO experts, and website owners when they transfer one or two or all of their web pages to another web page or website permanently. This redirect routes internet users and search engines to the appropriate page.

Search engines, such as Google, easily interpret and implement this type of URL redirect, so it’s among the most SEO-friendly ways of moving your website’s content to another page with a new URL.

One of the best things about 301 redirects is that they help carry forward most, if not all, of the ranking authority and link weighting earned by the old URL. Therefore, you won’t lose all the SEO efforts you put in for your old web pages or website.

What Are 302 Redirects?

A 302 redirect, on the other hand, is an HTTP status code that redirects website visitors to a temporary page, where they can find the content of the old page they’re trying to access. This redirect directs website traffic to the correct page for a limited time or until its removal.

When you use 302 redirects, your old web pages remain indexed on search engines, and no ranking authority and link weighting is transferred to the new one, as search engines know it’s just temporary. Although many experts think that 302 redirects don’t benefit websites since it doesn’t transfer link equity, it can be helpful when utilized correctly.

301 vs. 302 Redirect: When To Use Them?

Although it’s invariably a case of temporary versus permanent redirection, you can maximize the use of 301s and 302s based on the situation.

When To Use 301 Redirects?

You can use 301 redirects in the following scenarios:

  • After Creating A Website – When you launch your website, among the first things you need to do is use 301s to redirect all the domains to the preferred version.
  • When Moving to HTTPS – When you’re planning to move your website from HTTP to HTTPS, you must ensure that you set up 301 redirects from every HTTP URL to their HTTPS counterparts.
  • When You Have Broken Pages – You must always look for broken pages within your website. If there are any, use 301 redirects to route visitors to the new or updated page.
  • When Removing Content – For example, you have a blog about dogs, but you’re planning to move its content to a new blog about animals. You can use 301 redirects to route internet users who wish to visit the old blog to the new one.
  • When Changing URLs – If you want to change your website’s old URL for any reason, use 301 redirects to transfer link equity to the new one. Not doing so will cause you to lose all SEO efforts.
  • When Redesigning A Website – When designing a website and using the old URL is no longer practical, the best thing to do is use 301 redirects.
  • When Fixing Duplicate Content Issues – If you have two or three or more web pages with similar content, you can merge them by creating a new page. Use 301 redirects to route internet users who click on either of your old pages to the new one.
  • When Merging and Rebranding Two or More Domains – Merging two or more websites requires the use of 301 redirects to transfer link authorities. It’s a similar case with fixing duplicate content.

When To Use 302 Redirects?

Here are some situations when you can use 302 redirects:

  • When Temporarily Moving Web Pages – If you created a new, temporary page but are still planning to use the old one, using a 302 informs search engines that it’s only for a while.
  • When A Webpage or Website Is Under Development – If you’re planning to do a significant overhaul of your site, which will take time, using 302 is a viable option as long as you’re not changing URLs.
  • When Products are Out of Stock – E-commerce websites can use 302 redirects to route customers to a page where they can reserve the product once new stocks arrive.
  • When A/B Testing – If you have similar pages and want to know which one performs better, you can use 302s to temporarily link visitors until you’ve decided which one to use permanently.

301 Redirect vs. 302 Redirect: Which Is Better?

There are many differences between 302s and 301s, and determining which is better can be difficult. Although 301 redirects appear to be more beneficial, especially with SEO, 302 redirects offer benefits when utilized correctly. It’s a matter of temporary versus permanent redirection, so use the appropriate one to impact your website positively.

Advanced Digital Media Services Is Here To Help

Taking the time to learn about the differences between 302s and 301s can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, Advanced Digital Media Services is here to help you. Our SEO experts and web developers are knowledgeable when it comes to using redirects. Whether you’re creating a new website or planning to redesign your existing one, we are the best ones to help you! Call us today! Check our SEO services and other pages for more information.

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ADMS Paul Donahue

About Paul Donahue

Paul Donahue has been in the digital marketing realm since 2009. He has an intense passion for creating a dynamic digital presence for his clients through modern websites that rank well on Google. His company’s website is Colorado’s top-ranked SEO company. Author of three books published on Amazon, he is particular about staying abreast with the constantly changing SEO and digital marketing industry trends.

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