A 302 redirect, also known as a temporary redirect, is a type of HTTP status code that indicates that a requested URL is temporarily redirected to another URL. This can be used, for example, during maintenance, temporary restructuring of web content, or to ensure a high user experience during a marketing campaign.
The difference between a 301 and a 302 forwarding
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that indicates that a URL has been permanently moved to another URL. In contrast, a 302 redirect signals that the change is only temporary and the original URL will be available again in the foreseeable future. From an SEO perspective, it is important to distinguish between these two types of redirects. With a 301 redirect, linkjuice - the "strength" of the link - is transferred to the new URL. With a 302 redirect, the link juice remains with the original URL.
Advantages and use of 302 forwarding
There are some advantages to using a 302 redirect:
- Flexibility: Temporary redirection is ideal for situations when a page needs to be moved only temporarily due to certain circumstances.
- Indexing of the original URL: With a 302 redirect, the original URL remains indexed in some search engines, which helps maintain rankings and traffic.
- Retention of visitor traffic: A 302 redirect directs users to an alternative page without confusing them or affecting their user experience.
Attention when using 302 redirects
Despite the above advantages, 302 redirects can be potentially problematic if used incorrectly. A permanent redirect should always be a 301 redirect. If a 302 redirect is used permanently, important ranking signals are lost, which can negatively affect traffic and website rankings. As a result, existing rankings start to falter, as search engines no longer know exactly which page actually provides the relevant content.