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What you Need to Know About URL Redirection: 301 v 302

If you’ve ever had to create new URL Rewrite rules for redirecting products, categories, or pages, you have had to decide whether to do a permanent redirect (301) or temporary redirect (302).

How to Determine Which to Use

As their names suggest, one is used for temporarily moved pages and the other for permanently moved pages. Unfortunately, this difference can sometimes be ambiguous. We’re going to discuss the difference between permanent and temporary redirects as well as their effects on SEO.

As a general rule of thumb, there are very few situations where a 302 redirect would be most appropriate. The reason for this is because of how search engines interpret 301 and 302 redirects. When a search engine encounters a 301 redirect, it will index the new page and make a note so that it credits the new page for all links directed towards the old one. On the contrary, a 302 redirect will tell the search engine to index the new page while also keeping and indexing the old one. This is sometimes considered “double dipping” and can result in duplication of content in the eyes of the search engine crawlers.

The difference is quite subtle. Visitors of your online store will not notice a difference between the two. In the perspective of SEO, however, this could be hurtful to your store’s search engine rankings. It is an SEO best practice to use a 301 redirect when in doubt because more often than not, it’s what you should be using.

To learn more, read What URL Rewrites Are and Why They Are Important