301 vs 302: how important are “SEO redirects”?

HTTP status codes 301 and 302 are both redirection codes used on the Web, but they he

Both HTTP status codes 301 and 302 are redirection codes used on the Web. However, they have different meanings and implications for SEO optimization. It is critical that SEO experts use the codes correctly. Not only does this provide a better user experience, it also helps a website rank higher in Google.

301 redirect

A 301 status code stands for “Permanently Moved.” This is a redirection that signals to browsers and search engines that a page has been permanently moved to a new location. All link authority and ranking power of the old URL are transferred to the new URL.

Implications 301 for SEO

  • Permanent change: 301 can be used for permanent URL changes. These include such things as site migrations or merging pages.
  • Link authority: a 301 redirect retains up to 90-99% of link authority. This is essential for SEO.
  • User experience: it is important to create a good transition for users following old bookmarks or links.

302 redirect

A 302 status code means “Temporarily Moved.” When a page is temporarily moved to another location, this code is used. The goal is for the page to eventually return to its original URL.

Implications 302 for SEO

  • Temporary change: 302 is ideal for temporary content changes. This is the case, for example, during such as A/B testing or maintenance work.
  • Retain Ranking: a 302 retains the ranking and link authority of the original page. This is different from a 301.
  • Confusion: prolonged use of 302 can cause confusion for search engines. It is then unclear which page should be indexed.

301 vs 302 redirects (video)

No time for a long article? No problem. Watch the video below for a summary of this article.

301 vs 302 redirects (video).

301 versus 302

Whether a professional uses a 301 or a 302 redirect depends on the intent behind the URL change. A 301 is intended for permanent modifications, while a 302 is used in the case of temporary modifications. Do not use the codes incorrectly; this can lead to SEO problems. Consider getting lower rankings or splitting link authority.

Conclusion SEO redirects

To manage search engine rankings and provide an optimal user experience, it is critical to use 301 and 302 redirects properly. Whereas a 301 redirect provides a permanent solution and maintains its link authority, 302 redirects are only suitable for temporary changes. Understand well how these redirects work in order to contribute to SEO optimization.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 27 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 27 March 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.