Use of 301 and 302 Redirection and how to use them Better in SEO?

  Well most of the user confused in between 301 and 302 redirects and if you are looking for some simple and easy tutorial, you are on right place.

When we say about the 301 redirect, it is a permanent redirect. This is also means that page is permanently moved to a new location. And this will also passes full ranking power also to new page.

And when we say about the 302 redirect, it is a temporary redirect. And this is also means that the page is temporarily unavailable. And here ranking power is not passed to new page.

And now i will jump to simpler explanation with some good real world example? Well imagine we have moved to new house:

301 redirect:- It is like a permanent sign at your old house by saying, "Moved to "new address". And now everyone knows that you always be at the new house.

302 redirect:- It is like a adding a temporary note by saying, "Away for a vaction, back on this date". And here everyone knows that you will be back at old house soon.

Below is the quick summary:-

Feature Permanence Link Earning Use Case
301 Redirect  Permanent Passes When a page has moved Permanently
302 Redirect Temporary Do not pass When a page is temporarily unavailable
308 Redirect Permanent Passes When a resource is available at multiple locations

And here in this article you will learn how to correctly use 301 and 302 redirects.

If you are ready? Let now jump to more details on this.
Table of Contents

301 vs 302 Redirects for SEO: A Beginner’s Guide
--301 Redirect: When to Use & How?
--302 Redirect: When to Use & How?
--How can I test my redirects?
--Best Practices: 301 and 302 Redirects
FAQs | 301 and 302 Redirects
Final thoughts

A Beginner Guide for: 301 vs 302 redirects for SEO  
  SEO 301 or 302  

  301 Redirect: When to use and How?  
  Purpose:- We will use this when original URL is permanently unavailable so we can transfer the link earning(Link Juice) of the old page to the new page.

When to use a 301 redirect?
  • (1)When a page has permanently moved to new location.
  • (2)When you delete a page but want to keep its SEO value.
  • (3)When you want to merge multiple URLs into one (It is case of keyword cannibalization).
  • (4)When you want to improve your website SEO.
  • (5)When you want to change the domain name of your website.

Benefits of 301 Redirects:-
  • (1)People and search engines are automatically directed to the new location on your website.
  • (2)Passes full "Link benefits" (ranking power) to the new page, which helps the new page to rank better in search results.
  • (3)To prevents a drop in traffic by directing users to the new location and to avoid "404 not found" errors and the broken links.
  • (4)This will provides a better user experience, as users land on the relevant page instead of the broken page.


How to do a 301 redirect?

Although there are several ways to do a 301 redirect(such as editing the .htaccess file), by using a plugin or tool is the easiest way to implement 301 redirects.

Below are the some of the popular plugin you can use:-

Redirection:- Well this is the most popular plugin which is used by over 2 million users for over 10 years. And if you want to create and manage redirects quickly and easily without needing Apache or Nginx knowledge - install this plugin.

Once you done with install of plugin, go to the plugin settings, and you can add a new redirection by entering your source url and the target url.

Here is what it looks like:-
  Redirection 301  
  Rank Math:- Well Rank Math is one of the another option for creating redirects. And if you are looking for an SEO plugin which helps you to do several things, which may include redirects, sitmaps, optimization etc. SO you need to install this plugin.

Below are some of the posts we redirected (301) by using Rank Math plugin;

  Redirection ranktool  
  Note:- Once you implement redirect, you must test that redirection. To do that you only need to visit the old URL in your browser. So if it is working fine this will seamlessly takes you to new destination. And if you encounter a problem, you need to revisit your redirect setup and ensure everything pointing in the right direction.

  302 Redirect: When to use and How?  
Main purpose of 302 redirect is use to do when original url is temporarily unavailable. 

When to use a 302 redirect?
  • (1)Whenever a page is temporarily unavailable and you want people to go to another page for a while.
  • (2)And another point is when you are running A/B testing and want to redirect users to different versions of a page.
  • (3)Next point is when you are migrating your website to a new domain.
  • (4)And another point is when a page is temporarily unavailable due to maintenance.

Benefits of 302 Redirects:-
  • (1)People are temporarily redirected to the new page on your website.
  • (2)This will not affect the ranking of the original page.
  • (3)And one of the most important benefit is that you can easily change the destination of a 302 redirect without affecting the original page.
  • (4)This will helps you to prevents “404 Not Found” errors.
  • (5)Here you can redirect your website users to seasonal content (such as Black Friday posts, time-based event pages, etc) without creating permanent links.
  • (6)302 Redirection can also be used in situations where a 301 redirect is not ideal.

How to do a 302 redirect?
When we say about the process of implementing 302, it is same as 301.

If you have some skill in coding you can use the .htaccess file offers the most control.

And if you not have coding skill you can install the below plugins to do the 302 redirects;

Rank Math
301 Redirects

From all of these above plugin you can create 301, 302 and 307 redirects. These plugins are helpful to create permanent or temporary redirects (Free of cost).

If you are using Cloudflare, below are the quick way to do 302 or 301 redirects.

First you need enter the URL pattern where you want to do 301 (or 302 redirect). After putting URL you need to click the dropdown and then choose URL forwarding.

Then you need to select your status code from drop down and then enter the destination and save it.

Here is how cloudflare looks like;
  Cloudflare 302  

  How can i test my redirects?

Once you are done with redirection questions comes in mind that how can you verify the redirection was done properly or not?

And to do that you can directly visit the old url in your browser and see if it redirects to new url.

Or you can also view this by a free tool like to verify your 301 and 302 redirects.
  Redirect 302 data  
  As you can see in above screen, the redirect is properly set and everything is fine.

Similarly whenever you do 301 or 302 redirect, always make sure to verify using the above tool whether the redirect is working fine.


  Best Practices for 301 and 302 Redirects

Below are the some best pratices for using 301 and 302 redirects.
  • (1)Always use descriptive URLs for your redirected pages. Include relevant keywords in the URLs.

  • (2)Monitor your redirects regularly for broken links. You can use tools like Broken Link Checker, Xenu’s Link Sleuth, etc., to check for broken links on your site.

  • (3)Always Use a 301 redirect for any permanent page changes. And to avoid duplicate content issues or keyword cannibalization issues, use 301 redirects, as you have option that you can redirect multiple URLs to a single preferred version.

  • (4)Try to use 302 redirect for temporary website or webpages changes such as maintenance downtime, website staging, A/B testing, or some holiday promotion just like Black firday posts or whenever any of page is temporarily unavailable.

  • (5)Always choose the correct redirect type like 301 or 302 whihc is based on whether the move is permanent or temporary.

  • (6)Always make sure update any internal links which point to the old location of the page.

  • (7)Try to use redirect plugins or tools (such as 301 redirects) to manage all the redirects in one place.

  • (8)It is best to keep track of ALL your 301 and 302 redirects for future reference and maintenance.

  • (9)Always try to Minimize redirect chains (e.g., redirecting FirstPage to SecondPage, then SecondPage to ThirdPage) to prevent any Google penalties or technical issues. Also, long chains of redirects can slow down page load times and confuse search engines. So, implement a direct redirect from the old URL to the new one (whenever possible).


  FAQ's | 301 and 302 Redirects  
  Below are the some of the frequently asked questions around 301 and 302 redirects in SEO.  
Q1:-What is main difference in between a 301 and 302 redirect?

Well we use 301 redirect when you want to move a page permanently to your website. And we use 302 redirect when you want to temporarily want people to go to another page.
Q2:-Should HTTP to HTTPS redirect be 301 or 302?

If you have to moved pages from HTTP to secured version of HTTPS, you should use 301 redirects as they permanently move your pages.
Q3:-How long can i use a 302 redirect?

Well it can be from days to a weeks, as 302 redirect is temporary.
Q4:-What are 301 and 302 redirects?

Well both are HTTP status codes that indicate a URL has moved. 301 means permanent; 302 means temporary.
Q5:-Will a 302 redirect hurt my SEO?

As per our view answer is No, a 302 redirect will not hurt your website SEO. But if you choose 302 for permanent redirects whihc will not redirect your Link goodwill to new page. Which can be nagatively impact your SEO.
Q6:-Can i chain redirects 301 to 302 or vice versa?

Well our recommendation is no, and chaining redirects are not recommended. As this will slow down page loding times. Stick to one type of redirect per URL.


  Final thoughts  
  If you want to learn, how to implement redirections within your website effectively. Why? Because you all be changing your URLs, migrating to new domains, or redirecting users to temporary landing pages for specific campaigns.

Once you gain knowledge of use of 301 and 302, you will get one better way to manage your links.

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