How Does a 302 Redirect Impact Search Engine Ranking Compared to a 301 Redirect, Particularly for Long-Term Versus Short-Term Redirection?


Both 301 and 302 redirects are used to direct users and search engines to a different URL. However, they impact search engine ranking differently. A 301 redirect is permanent and transfers most of the link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page, which is beneficial for long-term SEO. A 302 redirect is temporary and does not pass the same ranking power, making it less ideal for long-term use.

Understanding 301 and 302 Redirects

301 Redirect

A 301 redirect is used to permanently redirect one URL to another. When a search engine encounters this type of redirect, it transfers most of the link equity from the old URL to the new one. This means that the new URL should rank similarly to the old URL, preserving SEO value.

302 Redirect

A 302 redirect, on the other hand, is a temporary redirect. It tells search engines that the redirection is temporary and that the original URL will be used again in the future. As a result, search engines typically do not transfer link equity to the new URL, which can impact the search engine ranking of the redirected page.

Impact of 301 Redirects on SEO

When implemented correctly, 301 redirects can have positive effects on SEO for the following reasons:

  • Link Equity Preservation: Most of the SEO value is passed from the old URL to the new one. This is crucial for maintaining or improving search engine rankings. [301 Redirects Transition, 2021].
  • Consolidation: It helps consolidate multiple URLs into a single URL, which can simplify site management and improve user experience.
  • User Experience: Ensures users are seamlessly redirected to the correct page, which can reduce bounce rates and increase time on site.

Impact of 302 Redirects on SEO

302 redirects are suitable for short-term changes, such as during a site maintenance or A/B testing, for the following reasons:

  • Temporary Redirection: Search engines understand that the redirect is temporary and the original URL will return, ensuring the original URL retains its link equity. [302 Redirects, 2021].
  • Flexibility: Easier to implement for temporary content shifts without significant SEO repercussions, provided they are altered back in a reasonable time.

Long-term vs Short-term Use

Long-term Redirection

For long-term or permanent changes, a 301 redirect is the best choice. This includes domain changes, restructuring URLs, or moving content. Using a 301 redirect ensures that the new URL benefits from the SEO history and ranking power of the old URL.

Short-term Redirection

If the content is only temporarily moved or during testing phases, a 302 redirect is more appropriate. This way, you keep the original URL's ranking intact and manage user experience without impacting long-term SEO strategies.


301 Redirect Example

Suppose you are transitioning from an old URL structure to a new one:

header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
?>This code ensures that users and search engines are permanently redirected and that link equity is passed on.

302 Redirect Example

For a temporary event where you want users to go to a different page but plan to revert later:

header("HTTP/1.1 302 Found");
?>This code maintains the original URL’s SEO value while temporarily redirecting traffic.


The choice between 301 and 302 redirects significantly affects SEO strategy. Use 301 redirects for permanent changes to preserve and transfer link equity, while 302 redirects are best for temporary changes, ensuring the original URL retains its SEO value.