What is a 301 Redirect?
301 Redirect -Code meaning “moved permanently,” used to point browsers, spiders, etc. to the correct location of a missing or renamed URL. Pages marked with such a code will automatically redirect to another URL.
Types of Redirects
- 301, “Moved Permanently”—recommended for SEO
- 302, “Found” or “Moved Temporarily”
- Meta Refresh
301 Redirect Moved Permanently
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In most instances, the 301 redirect is the best method for implementing redirects on a website.
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 may be treated similarly, but our evidence suggests that the safest way to ensure search engines and browsers of all kinds give full credit is to use a 301 when permanently redirecting URLs. The Internet runs on a protocol called HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) which dictates how URLs work. It has two major versions, 1.0 and 1.1. In the first version, 302 referred to the status code “Moved Temporarily.” This was changed in version 1.1 to mean “Found.”
307 Moved Temporarily (HTTP 1.1 Only)
A 307 redirect is the HTTP 1.1 successor of the 302 redirects. While the major crawlers will treat it like a 302 in some cases, it is best to use a 301 for almost all cases. The exception to this is when content is really moved only temporarily (such as during maintenance) AND the server has already been identified by the search engines as 1.1 compatible. Since it’s essentially impossible to determine whether or not the search engines have identified a page as compatible, it is generally best to use a 302 redirect for content that has been temporarily moved.
Meta refreshes are a type of redirect executed on the page level rather than the server level. They are usually slower, and not a recommended SEO technique. They are most commonly associated with a five-second countdown with the text “If you are not redirected in five seconds, click here.” Meta refreshes do pass some link equity but are not recommended as an SEO tactic due to poor usability and the loss of link equity passed.