What Is the Primary Purpose of a 301 Redirect, and How Does It Differ From a 302 Redirect in Terms of SEO Impact?


A 301 redirect is primarily used to indicate a permanent move of a resource to a new URL, while a 302 redirect signifies a temporary relocation. Differences between them in SEO impact include how search engines index and transfer link equity. This distinction can significantly affect your site's performance in search results.

Understanding 301 Redirects

Definition and Purpose

A 301 redirect is a status code that tells search engines and browsers that a page has been permanently moved to a new location. This is crucial when you are rebranding, changing domain names, or consolidating multiple pages into one.

SEO Benefits

The key SEO benefit of a 301 redirect is that it transfers approximately 90-99% of the link equity (ranking power) from the old URL to the new one. Google treats the new URL as a replacement for the old one, ensuring the new URL ranks appropriately.

Learn more about 301 redirects and their impact on SEO from this comprehensive guide by Moz: [Moz, 2023].


If you moved your site from http://www.example.com to http://www.newexample.com, setting up a 301 redirect would be necessary to inform search engines and users of this permanent change.

Understanding 302 Redirects

Definition and Purpose

A 302 redirect indicates that a resource has been temporarily moved to a new location. This is commonly used for A/B testing, promotional campaigns, or when a page is temporarily unavailable.

SEO Considerations

Contrary to a 301 redirect, a 302 redirect does not transfer link equity to the new URL. Search engines assume the original URL will return soon, so they continue to index and rank it.

John Mueller of Google discusses 302 redirects in this detailed article: [Google Developers, 2010].


If http://www.example.com/page is temporarily moved to http://www.example.com/newpage for maintenance, you would use a 302 redirect.

Key Differences and Their Implications

A 301 redirect passes on around 90-99% of the link equity, whereas a 302 redirect does not pass significant link equity because it is considered temporary.


With a 301 redirect, search engines will drop the old URL from their index and replace it with the new one. In contrast, with a 302 redirect, search engines continue to index and rank the original URL, assuming the move is temporary.

User Experience

Both 301 and 302 redirects prevent users from encountering broken links, but selecting the appropriate type of redirect ensures consistency in search rankings and user access.


Understanding and using the correct type of redirect is essential for SEO and user experience. A 301 redirect should be used for permanent changes to ensure link equity and indexing benefits, while a 302 redirect is appropriate for temporary relocations without SEO impacts.


  • [Moz, 2023] Rand Fishkin. "The Beginner's Guide to SEO: Redirects." Moz, 2023.
  • [Google Developers, 2010] John Mueller. "To 301 or to 302? That is the question." Google Developers, 2010.