What is the difference between a 301 and 302 Redirect


Hi, guys. And welcome to another edition of Zupo's SEO Talk & Tea.

Today's conversation is What's the Difference Between a 301 Redirect and a 302 Redirect? This is a question that's often asked by people who just get into 301 redirects, and so I kind of want to clarify what the difference between the two actually is.

But before we begin, I want to introduce our tea today. If you're new to this channel, this is called Zupo's SEO Talk & Tea, and so we always have a tea paired with our videos.

So today we have a Keemun black tea. It's called Hong Cha, which is red tea in Chinese. I don't know why, but in Chinese black tea is called red tea. And so I don't know why in English it was suddenly translated to black tea, but that's probably an entire video in itself that I probably don't have the education to know. I'm here to talk about SEO, so let's go ahead and get brewing.

What is the difference between a 301 redirect and a 302 redirect? Well, first things first, they're both redirects, that's kind of in the name.

Well, the main difference, and it's not too complicated, is that a 301 redirect tells Google this is a permanent redirect, meaning that the move from one URL to another URL is permanent, this is it, and this is a permanent move.

A 302 redirect is a temporary move, and so it just tells Google we're moving URLs, but it's only temporary. So you might ask yourself, when would it be temporary? I found myself, when I first learned about this, when would a URL move be temporary? And you'd be surprised the different use cases.

If you're a retail shop, sometimes you are running specials where you have a special line for the season, or for a week or a holiday, and so you want to unveil a product line, but it's only for a temporary amount of time. So you want the product page to be somewhere else, because it's a new special release, and so your old product page wants to defer to the new product page with all the new releases and stuff. So you would do a temporary one because maybe the special is only going to last four weeks. And so after that you're going to go back to the old URL. That's a good example of a temporary one. Sometimes people do run specials and stuff, and so the specials will update with every season. So sometimes you can do a temporary one for the new special that's only going to last three weeks. So the use cases of a temporary redirect are many.

A 301 is specifically for, "Hey, I am specifically going to move one URL to another, and we do not see a need to change". Now saying that, the reason why it's important to know the difference between the two is a 301 redirect is permanent. So when you use a 301 redirect, how Google sees it, it's a permanent change. And they will provide all the SEO value you've attained for one page and that you're moving to another. They will essentially move most of that value over.

With a 302 redirect, because it's temporary, they will assign the value over, but because they know it's temporary, they will not really give all the value of the old URL to the new one. They'll do it in a lesser point. So if you really want to hedge as much SEO value as possible, and unfortunately there is real no way to quantify it. You just have to know that it's by relativity. 301 is best unless you are truly going to do a temporary move.

So where are people can make a lot of mistakes, is that when they're working with developers or the design team, or they're just doing it themselves, they see a button or check box that says redirect, but you often need to verify that the redirect is a 301, not a 302, because a 302, again remember is temporary. 301 is permanent.

Well, I will tell you, 95% of the time, to 99% of the time I use a 301. If you're not sure I would suggest using a 301, because it passes more SEO value. And I just see more use cases for the 301. There are very unique cases for 302 redirects, and they have their place. But I would say that more often than not, people use them incorrectly and they make mistakes. If you're not sure use 301. If you're truly not sure, ask a professional, go online, go on some forums, ask us, we can assist you with that.

But what I'd say is thus the two difference 301 permanent 302 temporary. 301 passes almost all full value of SEO value from one page to another, 302 passes a lesser amount. So again, 301 probably is the way you want to go if you're redirecting pages on a site.

So I'm going to go ahead and leave it at that. It's not too complex from there, but the use cases can be complex. So everyone has a customized situation. So like I said earlier, please reach out to us, or somebody else, or forums. There's a lot of great ones out there that you could ask for your specific situation. And there'll be people there to help you.

If you guys found that video valuable, or what I talked about valuable, I would love if you guys like and subscribe to our channel, and I'm going to go ahead and pour out my tea now. I haven't had black tea in so long, so it's always fun to have it again. I'm going to go ahead and pour this out. I have my black tea now, but if you guys enjoyed what you saw, I hope to see you guys again soon. And I hope to see you guys in future videos.

Thanks everybody. See you later.

Jason Khoo

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.