How Do 301 Redirects Differ From 302 Redirects in SEO Impact?


The primary difference between 301 and 302 redirects in terms of SEO impact lies in how search engines handle link equity and indexing. A 301 redirect permanently moves a webpage and transfers nearly all SEO value to the new URL, whereas a 302 redirect indicates a temporary move, generally keeping the original URL intact in search engine indexes and not transferring full SEO value.

301 Redirect: Permanent Move

A 301 redirect signifies that a webpage has permanently moved to a new location. This redirect is essential for maintaining SEO efforts because it passes approximately 90-99% of the link equity to the new URL.

SEO Impact

  • Link Equity Transfer: Most SEO experts agree that 301 redirects transfer most of the original page's link equity, ensuring that the new page inherits the predecessor's search engine rankings and authority [Moz, 2023].
  • Indexing: Search engines update their indexes to replace the old URL with the new one, ensuring that traffic, backlinks, and rankings are preserved [Google Developers, 2023].
  • User Experience: Users are seamlessly redirected to the new location, reducing frustration and bouncing rates.


<!— old URL —>
<!— new URL —>

<!— Implementation in .htaccess —>
Redirect 301 /page1

302 Redirect: Temporary Move

A 302 redirect indicates that the move is temporary and that the original URL will be reinstated soon. This type of redirect typically does not transfer SEO value to the new URL.

SEO Impact

  • Link Equity Transfer: A common assumption is that 302 redirects do not pass the same link equity as 301 redirects. However, recent updates from search engines like Google have shown some flexibility, but consistency is not guaranteed [Google Developers, 2023].
  • Indexing: Search engines generally keep the original URL in their index, which means the new URL will not benefit from the SEO metrics of the original page [Search Engine Land, 2021].
  • User Experience: Users are temporarily redirected to a new location, but expect to return to the original URL eventually.


<!— old URL —>
<!— temporary URL —>

<!— Implementation in .htaccess —>
Redirect 302 /page1

When to Use Each Redirect

The choice between a 301 and a 302 redirect largely depends on whether the URL move is permanent or temporary:

  • 301 Redirect: Use when permanently moving content to a new URL, rebranding, changing domain names, or consolidating pages to improve SEO and maintain established search rankings [Ahrefs, 2022].
  • 302 Redirect: Suitable for A/B testing, temporarily redirecting traffic during site maintenance, or when you plan to revert to the original URL shortly [Search Engine Journal, 2023].


Understanding the difference between 301 and 302 redirects is crucial for maintaining the SEO health of your website. A 301 redirect should be employed for permanent changes to ensure maximum transfer of SEO value and search engine ranking. Conversely, opt for a 302 redirect when the move is temporary and you plan to revert to the original URL soon. This strategic use of redirects will help sustain the SEO equity and user experience of your website.