What is 301 Redirect?


301 Redirect

301 redirect means that a resource the user has been looking for was fully or partially transferred to a new location. Once you receive a 301 status code from a website you will be redirected to a new URL, which contains the piece of content you wanted to find.

The role of 301 redirect is very important for SEO as well. When you move your content to a new URL, the 301 status code notifies search engines about this, so that your new page will appear instead of an old one in search results. Thus, your organic traffic won’t be decreased because of the migration. 

When do you use 301 redirect?

As mentioned above, 301 redirect is permanent, therefore it’s impractical for temporary changes or instances of A/B testing. Here is when you should apply 301 redirect:

  • When links should send users from an outdated URL to a new one. For example, when you merge two webpages and therefore the migration is permanent.
  • When you don’t want to use several URLs for one site. Sometimes there are cases when you click different links and still enter the same webpage. If you want to use a single URL, 301 redirects can move users to the preferred URL or the new one. 
  • When the domain has changed. If your site has been moved to a new domain name, you can use 301 redirect for a seamless transition from your old site to a new one.

Simply put, 301 code is used when the content of the page has migrated to a new location and will not return to the original URL. 

Difference between 301 and 302 redirect

Along with 301, there is also a 302 redirect, which is used as a temporary redirect for users and search engines. As well as with 301, 302 redirects to the desired page, but the difference between those two statuses is that you apply 302 for temporary use only. For example, if you run A/B testing of a webpage for a new design or want to update an existing web page, but still want users to have access to the content you provide, 302 can be applied in these cases. Usage of 302 for permanent changes can negatively influence your website’s search engine visibility because search engines will confuse your old and new URLs.


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