Redirect 301 vs. 302: Which is better?

You are probably comparing Redirect 301 vs. 302 in cases when you want to redirect a certain page of your website. If you are not sure what actually is the difference between these two, you should keep reading! So, let’s explain a little bit more about each of them.

Redirect 301

Redirect 301 refers to a permanent redirect. That means you could use it in cases when you want to redirect the traffic from one precise URL to another permanently. When you set it, all of the users are going to be automatically redirected from the previous URL to the new one. 

For illustration, if you own an e-commerce website and you decide that you won’t sell a particular item anymore, you could use Redirect 301 for its URL to direct your customers, for example, to the home page.

It is a good practice for avoiding the unpleasant situation of a user landing on a page with an HTTP error 404 page not found. Moreover, implementing a redirect increases the chance for your customers to keep browsing your e-commerce shop. 

Another case where Redirect 301 could be very helpful is when you have entirely changed the placement of a particular URL. For illustration, it could be implemented when you transfer to a completely new domain. That way, you are able to redirect everything from the previous one to the new one. Search engines, like Google, recognize Redirect 301 and start indexing the new page. For that reason, it is important for your SEO.

Redirect 302

The 302 redirect refers to a temporary redirect. That means you could use it in cases when you desire to redirect the traffic from one URL to a different one, but only temporarily. Once you set it, all of your users are going to be automatically redirected from one URL to another for a short period of time. Yet, the search engines, like Google, are going to continue to index the previous page URL and won’t forget it.

In our previous example with the e-commerce shop, you could implement Redirect 302 in cases when a particular item is out of stock at the moment and guide your customers to a similar product until the first one is available again. Then, the clients will automatically see the second page and maybe purchase that second option item.

It is also popular to implement Redirect 301 for some marketing purposes. For instance, you could make short URLs and, through them to count visitors. Possibly you could do A/B testing of campaign versions and set a higher budget on the more successful one.

Which one is better?

When we compare Redirect 301 vs. 302, it is important to remember the main difference between them. Redirect 301 is permanent, and Redirect 302 is only temporary. If you want search engines to forget and not to index a particular page, Redirect 301 is your choice. If that is not the case, you should use Redirect 302.

They serve different purposes. For that reason, both of them are great!

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