What Is a URL Redirect

URL redirects are a way of redirecting website visitors from one URL to another. If you are a website owner, you can redirect any URL on your website to any other page online. It doesn’t even need to be another page on your website.

If visitors attempt to visit a page with a URL redirect, they will end up on another page that the website owner or website developer has specified.

There are two types of redirects you should know about 301 redirects and 302.

This article will go over the difference between these two types of redirects, when to use each one, the benefits of using redirects, and how they can impact your website’s SEO.

301 redirect illustration

What Is a 301 URL Redirect

A 301 redirect tells search engines and crawl bots that a page has permanently moved to another address. The main differentiating factor between 301 redirects and 302 URL redirects is that a 301 redirect is indicative of a permanent move.

301 URL redirects should be used when you don’t plan to revert to an old URL. Examples of uses for 301 redirects include page merges, domain name changes, or rerouting duplicate pages to one specific page. They are also useful when getting rid of old pages on a website and rerouting traffic to other pages.

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How Do 301 URL Redirects Impact Your SEO

301 URL redirects impact SEO by telling search engines that all traffic from the previous URL should go to the new URL. This also tells Google and other search engines to transfer any link authority from one URL to another.

When you migrate content from 1 domain name to another, the URL will be completely different. A 301 redirect can help you maintain your ranking in search engines for specific keywords, even branded keywords.

In most cases, a 301 URL redirect is the best way to redirect users from 1 URL to another. After some time, once search engines pick up the 301 redirect, it will show the destination URL instead of the original. Redirects are also commonly used to fix 404 errors.

What Is a 302 URL Redirect and How Does It Affect SEO

A 302 URL redirect indicates a temporary change in URL and is commonly used when a page is in maintenance, and you want to redirect users to another URL. Another use of a 302 redirect is when you want to redirect users to a different page while still showing the original URL instead of the destination.

A key difference when using 302 URL redirects in SEO is that it does not change the display URL in search results. Search results will show the original URL when using a 302 redirect instead of the destination URL like a 301 redirect.

If you have a URL like /newest-seo-tips/ and want that URL to redirect to the newest page of your blog, using a 302 redirect would be the better option because the destination will keep changing as you upload new pages to your website.

Related: Does your website need to be mobile friendly?

How To Decide Which URL Redirect To Use illustration

How To Decide Which URL Redirect To Use

Deciding which type of URL redirect can be tricky at first but to put it simply, most times, you will want to use a 301 redirect. Remember that 302 redirects are used for temporary destination changes while 301 URL redirects indicate a permanent page migration to a different URL.

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How To Setup A URL Redirect On Your Website

A very common and easy to implement a 301 URL redirect is through your website’s .htaccess file. To redirect every page of a site to a new URL, use:

Redirect 301 / https://new-URL.com/

Be sure to replace new-URL.com with the target destination of your redirect. If you want to redirect a single page of your website, add the following line to your .htaccess file:

Redirect 301 /oldURL/ http://new-URL.com/

In this case, be sure to replace the old URL with the originating URL, and the new URL with the destination URL.

If you want to learn more about SEO and ways to keep your website visible in search engines, check out the rest of our blog!

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