What Is 301 and 302 Redirect? How Are They Different From Each Other?

What is a Redirect?

Redirect is also known as redirection or website redirection, which is somewhat similar to what we mean by “moving” in our lives. But for users and search engines, if there is no “announcement”, when they enter the url and find nothing, they may lose several orders, loyal customers, and even search engines may decide that the URL is invalid and pull its original ranking.

When someone enters the old URL, the system will automatically bring them to the new page and let them know that the page has changed, and then please enter the new URL directly.

Why does the site need to be redirected?

There are 3 situations that may require redirection: website structure change, website revision, and event promotion.

1. Website structure changes

According to the current situation, technology and operation needs, the website cannot always stop at the original design version without any changes. When the website structure will change significantly, it needs to be redirected to let users and search engines know that the website has moved.

For example, if the original web page only has a product page, and now you want to add a product category page.

Original URL structure: domain + product name, e.g. https:///affiv.com/ebook/

Existing URL structure: domain + product category + product name, e.g. https://affiv.com/recipe/ebook

At this time we need to set the redirect to let people know that this is the same page, but with some changes in the structure.

2. Website Revision

The second type is the website revision, the magnitude of change may be a little larger, may be a change of URL, or even need to change the domain. This is a very big project, negligence may lead to a lot of trouble and loss

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3. Event promotions

There is also a possibility that the website wants to do a temporary event promotion, hoping that all users who enter the website can be diverted to the event page, then you can do a temporary redirect function, and then return to the original page after the event.

Generally, this situation is more likely to happen in e-commerce websites, where e-commerce companies will set up a landing page specifically for promotions, which not only allows consumers to focus on the page, but also allows them to effectively track the effectiveness of subsequent marketing.

Types of website redirects

Website redirects are divided into various types, the most common of which are 301 and 302.

301 and 302 Redirect

1. 301 redirect

301 redirect is a permanent redirect, that is, the URL has been confirmed to change permanently, as long as the input the old URL, all will be automatically converted to new URL.

Because the 301 redirect is a large-scale change, so the process more or less will lose some SEO rankings, which depends mainly on how well the redirect is done.

Another very important point is that the content of the pages before and after the redirect must be the same or highly relevant, for example, the original page is about us, the new page can not become a member recruitment, because it is easy to be judged by search engines as black hat SEO, which has a deeper impact on rankings.

2. 302 redirect

302 redirect is exactly the opposite of 301, which is a temporary redirect, the concept is more like the “short-term business trip” or temporary stay in another place for work, and will eventually return home.

302 redirect is usually widely used in website maintenance or short-term promotional activities, hoping to temporarily direct traffic to other pages, and then cancel the 302 setting when the time is over. Since it is only a temporary redirection, the search engine ranking will not be affected.

However, it should be noted that although the 302 redirect is a temporary redirect, but if you forget to cancel the relevant settings, in the long-term, search engines may misjudge that this is a 301 redirect, so there is still a possibility of losing ranking. So if you really need to do a 302 redirect, please do not forget to turn it back again.

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What will happen if a website is redirected without setting 301 or 302 redirect?

As we mentioned earlier, whether it is a revision, structural adjustment, temporary maintenance or event promotion, the website needs to do the action of redirecting, but what will be the consequences if it is not set or forgotten to set? The consequences are not to be underestimated and may have the following two negative effects:

1. 404 error on the website

301 and 302 Redirect

We can explore this issue from two perspectives: users and search engines. First of all, as a user, you must have encountered the experience of clicking on a certain webpage, only to have a “404 Not Found” screen pop up. The next step is to go back to the previous page and search for other websites. For website operators, such an action is equivalent to losing an order/business.

From the search engine’s point of view, it will be judged as “poor user experience” when “users click on a page and bounce out quickly”. Crawlers may visit the website first to see if the search database is not updated, but if they find that it is a 404 error, they will think that the website is not doing well, so they will punish the page and make the ranking drop.

2. Traffic, weight and ranking all over again

If your original website was doing well and ranking well on search engines, but you forgot to set the redirect because of the rebranding, then from the search engine’s point of view, they will judge that it is a “brand new page”, so it will take time to re-record it and rank it again. In other words, the original traffic, weight and ranking of the site will all go back to 0. You have to spend time doing SEO again, which is not only a waste of time, but also a loss of the advantage of good ranking.

The impact of 301 and 302 redirect on SEO

Finally, let’s talk about the impact of 301 and 302 redirect on SEO.

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The impact of 301 redirect on SEO

Basically, if the 301 redirect is set up correctly, so that the old page traffic and weight transfer to the new page, usually will not lose too much ranking; but on the contrary, if it is not set up properly, or forget to set up, then you must accept the possibility of losing some traffic and ranking.

After the 301 redirect, the old URL will slowly disappear in the search engine results, replaced by the new page you planned, and the ranking will be similar to the original. Therefore, if you want to do a 301 redirect, you must pay attention to the correctness of the link, if you are worried about mistakes, you can entrust the original web design company, or hire some specialists, so you do not need to worry about the impact of the redirect on SEO.

The impact of 302 redirect on SEO

As mentioned earlier, the biggest difference between 302 redirect and 301 is that the weight will be transferred to the new page together. The search engine will also know that this is a temporary landing page, so it will also retain the original URL’s admission status, weight and ranking.

Even so, the role of 302 is only temporary, you should not take a chance, thinking that since 302 will not lose ranking, but in fact it is a permanent redirect. Because when the search engine found that the page is under the 302 redirect for too long, they will also begin to suspect and re-search the site.

Summary

After the above explanation, I believe you already know what the 301 redirect, 302 redirect, and their impact on SEO. To conclude, as long as the redirect is set properly, you still have the opportunity to retain the original site weight and ranking.

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