Redirection is the process of forwarding a URL to a different URL. There are three main types of redirects: 301, 302, and meta-reflesh.
Types of Redirects:
- 301, "Moved Permanently" - Recommended for SEO
- 302, "Found" or "Moved Temporarily"
- Meta Refresh
What is a redirection?
A redirect is a way to send users and search engines to a different URL than they originally requested. Below are descriptions of some of the commonly used types of redirects.
301 Moved Permanently - Moved Permanently
An 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that passes between 90-99% of link juice (sorting power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In most cases, 301 redirection is the best method for implementing redirects on a site.
302 Found (HTTP 1.1) / Moved Temporarily (HTTP 1.0)
Some of Google's employees have indicated that there are cases where 301s and 302s can be treated in a similar way, but our evidence suggests that the safest way to ensure that search engines and browsers of all types give full credit is to use an 301 by permanently redirecting the URLs.
The Internet runs on a protocol called HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which determines how URLs work. It has two main versions, 1.0 and 1.1. In the first release, 302 refers to the status code "Moved temporarily". This was changed in the 1.1 version to mean "Found".
307 Moved Temporarily (HTTP 1.1 Only)
An 307 redirect is the 1.1 HTTP successor of the 302 redirect.
While key trackers treat it as an 302 in some cases, it is better to use an 301 for almost every case.
The exception to this is when the content is actually moved only temporarily (as during maintenance) and the server has already been identified by the search engines as 1.1-compatible. Since it is essentially impossible to determine whether search engines have identified a page as compatible, it is often better to use an 302 redirect for temporarily moved content.
Meta updates are a type of redirection run at the page level instead of the server level.
They are usually slower, not a recommended SEO technique. They are most commonly associated with a five-second countdown with the text "If you are not redirected within five seconds, click here."
The Meta refreshes, does not pass a little juice, but is not recommended as an SEO tactic due to poor usability and loss of link juice has passed.
SEO and Redirects
It is a common practice to redirect one URL to another.
In doing so, it is crucial to observe best practices to maintain the value of SEO.
The first common example of this occurs with a simple scenario: a URL that needs to be redirected to another address permanently.
Be aware that by moving a page from one URL to another, search engines will take some time to discover 301, recognize it, and credit the new page with the rankings and trust of its predecessor.
This process may be longer if the search engine spiders rarely visit the webpage or if the new URL is not resolved correctly.
Other options for redirection, such as 302s and metadata, are poor substitutes, as they generally do not pass rankings and search engine value, such as an 301 redirect. The only time these redirects are good alternatives is if a webmaster purposely does not want to pass the link juice from the old page to the new one.