What is a redirect?
Redirection is the process of forwarding one URL to a different URL.
What is a redirect?
A redirect is a way to send both users and search engines to a different URL from the one they originally requested. The three most commonly used redirects are 301, 302, and Meta Refresh.
Types of redirects
301 moved permanently
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that passes full link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In most instances, the 301 redirect is the best method for implementing redirects on a website.
Use 302 redirects when the URL of a resource is changed temporarily. Some of Google’s employees have indicated that there are cases where 301s and 302s may be treated similarly, but our evidence suggests that the safest way to ensure search engines and browsers of all kinds give full credit is to use a 301 when permanently redirecting URLs. This is because while in theory both 302s and 301s can both pass the same amount of link equity, there are cases where a 301 might pass a stronger canonicalization signal to Google. For cases in which the redirect truly is temporary, a 302 may be the most appropriate.
307 moved temporarily
A 307 redirect is the HTTP 1.1 successor of the 302 redirect. While the major crawlers will treat it like a 302 in some cases, it is best to use a 301 for almost all cases. The exception to this is when content is really moved only temporarily (such as during maintenance) AND the server has already been identified by the search engines as 1.1 compatible. Since it’s essentially impossible to determine whether or not the search engines have identified a page as compatible, it is generally best to use a 302 redirect for content that has been temporarily moved.
Meta refreshes are a type of redirect executed on the page level rather than the server level. They are usually slower, and not a recommended SEO technique. They are most commonly associated with a five-second countdown with the text “If you are not redirected in five seconds, click here.” Meta refreshes do pass some link equity, but are not recommended as an SEO tactic due to poor usability and the loss of link equity passed.
A meta refresh might look like this: