Redirection is the process of forwarding one URL to a different URL. There are three main kinds of redirects: 301, 302, and meta refresh.
Types of Redirects
- 301, “Moved Permanently”—recommended for SEO
- 302, “Found” or “Moved Temporarily”
- Meta Refresh
What is a Redirect?
A redirect is a way to send both users and search engines to a different URL from the one they originally requested. Below are descriptions of some of the commonly used types of redirects.
301 Moved Permanently
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of link juice (ranking power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In most instances, the 301 redirect is the best method for implementing redirects on a website.
302 Found (HTTP 1.1) / Moved Temporarily (HTTP 1.0)
A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect. It passes 0% of link juice (ranking power) and, in most cases, should not be used. The Internet runs on a protocol called HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) which dictates how URLs work. It has two major versions, 1.0 and 1.1. In the first version, 302 referred to the status code “Moved Temporarily.” This was changed in version 1.1 to mean “Found.”
307 Moved Temporarily (HTTP 1.1 Only)
A 307 redirect is the HTTP 1.1 successor of the 302 redirect. While the major crawlers will treat it like a 302 in some cases, it is best to use a 301 for almost all cases. The exception to this is when content is really moved only temporarily (such as during maintenance) AND the server has already been identified by the search engines as 1.1 compatible. Since it’s essentially impossible to determine whether or not the search engines have identified a page as compatible, it is generally best to use a 302 redirect for content that has been temporarily moved.
Meta refreshes are a type of redirect executed on the page level rather than the server level. They are usually slower, and not a recommended SEO technique. They are most commonly associated with a five-second countdown with the text “If you are not redirected in five seconds, click here.” Meta refreshes do pass some link juice, but are not recommended as an SEO tactic due to poor usability and the loss of link juice passed.