What are 302 redirects?
A 302 redirect serves as a short-term redirect, guiding users and search engines to the intended page for a limited period until it’s taken down. It can appear as either “302 Found” (HTTP 1.1) or “Moved Temporarily” (HTTP 1.0).
Certain webmasters opt for 302 redirects over 301 redirects, possibly aiming to evade the Google aging delay often linked with permanent moves (301 redirects).
When to use 302 redirects?
Here are some specific use cases where a 302 redirect comes into play:
1. A/B Testing
Web developers often utilize a 302 redirect to conduct A/B testing on a webpage. By directing users to alternative versions of the page (version A and version B), they can evaluate different functionalities or designs to determine which one performs better. The 302 redirect allows them to seamlessly switch between the two versions without permanently altering the site’s structure.
2. Consistent Experience during Updates
During updates or maintenance of a webpage, a 302 redirect can be employed to ensure viewers have a consistent experience. When the original page is temporarily unavailable due to updates or improvements, the redirect guides users to a placeholder page or a maintenance message, guaranteeing they are not left with error messages or broken links.
3. Mitigating Broken Webpages
In the unfortunate event of a broken webpage where the content is inaccessible or non-functional, a 302 redirect can come to the rescue. By redirecting users to a functional and relevant page, such as the homepage or a related alternative, the webmaster can uphold a positive user experience while resolving the issue on the broken page.
How do 302 redirects impact SEO?
When search engines like Google encounter a 302 redirect, they understand it’s a temporary move to another URL. In such cases, search engines typically keep the original URL indexed in their search results and temporarily assign the SEO value or “link juice” to the new URL. This means that the SEO benefits of the redirected page are only passed on to the destination page for a limited time as long as the 302 redirect is in place.