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What are 301 and 302 redirects? When should I use these redirection methods?

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A 301 divert implies that the page has for all time moved to another area.

A 302 divert implies that the move is just impermanent. Web search tools need to make sense of whether to keep the old page, or supplant it with the one found at the new area.

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301 Moved Permanently. This is the typical redirect. A 301 redirect is an indicator that the destination of the link has changed URL to a different URL, permanently. For example, when SEOMoz rebranded to Moz, they changed their URL from SEOMoz.com to Moz.com. Every SEOMoz.com page redirected to the corresponding Moz.com page via a permanent 301 redirect.

302 Found. This is also known as the Object Moved or Moved Temporarily redirect code. It’s also widely improperly used. In the actual HTTP specifications, a 302 was meant to simply indicate that the intended URL was not the correct URL for a given resource. Most web systems, however, implemented it in such a way as to become a temporary redirect, and thus it is commonly used as a sort of temporary version of the 301.

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A 301 redirect is a status code that tells search engines and users the page has permanently moved, and makes sure that they are sent to the correct page. As this is permanent, when a 301 redirect is used it signifies that the content on the page has been moved forever. Users are redirected to a new page, which has replaced the old one.

The redirect typically helps change the URL of the page when it shows up in search engine results. If you’ve invested in building a website, or starting an online store, pay close attention to the impact this has on your site.

You can think of a 301 redirect like a Change of Address form that you would have to fill out with the Postal Service if you were to move. Just like your mail being rerouted from your old address to your new address, your web traffic is sent from your old URL to the new URL.

 302 redirect is a temporary change that redirects both users and search engines to the desired new location for a limited amount of time, until the redirect is removed. This 302 redirect may be shown as a 302 found (HTTP 1.1), or moved temporarily (HTTP 1.0).

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