301 redirects vs 302

What is a 301 redirect and when do you need to use it?

This post will address the question and explain the difference between 301 and 302 redirects.

A 301 redirect is a permanent move from the old domain. It is the search engine friendly way to for redirecting your webpage. It should also preserve your search engine ranking for that page. It is the most efficient way of moving domains especially if you have to change file names.

As Matt Cutts explains, a 302 refers to the HTTP status code that you get in your browser when you request a page. A 302 status code means the page has moved temporarily to a new location.

Matt Cutts say that the 302 redirect can be on-domain or off-domain.

– On-domain 302 Redirect – the 302 temporary redirection is implemented in the same domain. The disadvantage it that it is simple and not prone to hijacking.
For example www.example.com/ecard.asp is redirected to www.example.com/ecard/new-year-2010.asp
– Off-domain 302 redirect – a redirect from one domain to another domain that are claimed to be temporary. When a search engine receives an off-domain 302 redirect, it should crawl, index and return the destination page.

A client asked me for advice when changing their content on the page. They were changing their page titles and the content and they wanted to know if they should implement a 301 redirect. You did not to use a 301 redirect unless you are changing the URL. This brings me to another point that was raised. The difference between underscore and hyphens in URLs.

Are hyphens and underscores seen as different by the search engine? The answer is yes, they are. Google does not treat underscores and hyphens the same – underscores are not counted as spaces.

So the URL:
“www.working-in-london.co.uk” is seen as different to “www.working_in_london.co.uk”
The search engine reads the later as “www.workinginlondon.co.uk”

However, from a user point of view, it probably isn’t a good idea to have both URLs as they look the same. Read more at Search Engine Journal

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