Using the HTTP 301 and 302 Redirects for the Best Results
Confused about HTTP Code 301 and 302? You are not the only one.
Even though it is 2020, many website owners are unclear about these two and have no idea when and where to use them and which type of redirect is best suited for SEO.
Redirects have quickly become a necessity in recent years. There can be situations when a website owner has to use redirects. Like:
- The URL is broken.
- You have a new page or website.
- You are trying to fix your webpage, and you want your traffic to go to a different page while your site is under construction.
Although many of these errors sometimes can be cordoned off by the users by clearing their caches, that is not the case for these particular HTTP error codes which are meant for redirections.
The purpose of redirect certainly impacts the type of redirect you want to use. It’s very important to know the difference between the types of redirects, as it is going to have a huge impact on your SEO efforts.
Poor use of redirects can lead to inconvenience for your audience. Faulty redirects can take your traffic to errors like 404 or 502 Bad Gateway error.
Choosing a correct redirect will guarantee you that you’ll at least maintain your current rankings and help you solidify the positive image of your website that you’ve built through backlinks and content creation.
And when we tell you that your brand online reputation is one of the things you have to worry about, we are not lying. Your reputation is pivotal when it comes to your sales and conversion. If you are an online business owner, you should worry about your reputation and how you can build it with a handful of tools and tricks.
In this blog, we will be explaining the types of redirects and how you can use them. So let’s dive in.
What is a 301 Redirect?
HTTP 301 redirect sends a message to the search engine that a website or a page is moved to a different URL permanently. Here permanent means a year. After a year, you should check to see if your traffic is being redirected to your site.
If people are redirected, try to figure out where they are coming from and fix the source before canceling the redirect.
While using a 301 redirect, the search engine will essentially start to treat the new URL as the canonical one, and in doing so, will transfer all the page ranks and link juice from the previous location to a new location.
To put in simpler words, your old URL will become the new one in the search engine’s eye. The old URL will be re-indexed and eventually replaced by a new one.
When Should you use 301 Redirect?
Many people use 301 Redirect when they purchase domains that they want to be sent to their primary domain. There can be a lot of reasons for this. For example:
When the Page’s Content Moves or Changes.
This is the reason why most people use a 301 redirect. Suppose you want to move your page or a post to an entirely new location, you will use 301 redirects to move it permanently.
When There is a Typo or Bad URL
You use 301 redirects when your URL is just wrong, or bad. A typo like ‘/hmoe’ instead of /home can be corrected using a redirect. Using 301 redirects will change your URL permanently.
Performing an SEO Audit.
While performing your SEO audit, if you notice that you have some non-optimized URLs, 301 redirect is probably your best option. While redirecting, you have to make sure that your URL and keyword change is still pertinent to the content.
Sometimes, the sites that are running for a long time contain content that is outdated or doesn’t need to exist anymore. The site has to be cleaned up.
If you have the pages that you don’t need, indexed by the search engine, 301 them!
You might consider to take content, refresh it, update it, or even rewrite it. Instead of publishing it under a new URL, you can redirect the old one on the same topic to it. In this way, you will get the SEO power of the first one while boosting your new posts too.
Furthermore, if you want to delete some of your posts, you can always set that URL to redirect to a similar post. In this way, instead of your viewers getting a 404 error, they will be transferred to a new post. There will be no gaping holes in your site.
Ever felt the need of clearing your browser cache because you are tired of errors like 400. You can learn to clear the cache of every internet browser from here.
What is 302 Redirect?
In this case of the HTTP 302 redirect, the traffic is shifted temporarily.
While using a 302 over 301, you are telling the search engine that the page on your site is not removed, it still exists, but you are just detouring the visitors for one reason or the other.
The distinct difference between 302 and 301-redirect is that there is zero link juice transfer via 302.
When should you use 302 Redirect?
You should use the 302-redirect when you want to send your traffic to a new site or page for a short span of time. Like when you are busy redesigning or updating your webpage.
Another use of 302-redirect is when you are planning on eventually bringing back the traffic to your older site. Since the changes are temporary, your visitors will be directed back toward your site.
One of the customers who held a very reputed name in the online gambling business wanted to update and redesign its site. We recommended them to use a 302 redirect to channelize their traffic for some time. They acted upon our advice and were good to go.
Moreover, you can use 302 redirects to test your new web pages and get customers’ feedback without hurting your ranking on search engines from the original page.
You can use whatever redirect that suits your needs. You have to educate yourself on the differences between two and make sure you are using the correct redirect for correct outcomes.
And the best thing is if you feel that the changes will be permanent instead of earlier expected as temporary, be sure that you change the redirect from 302 to a 301.