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What's the Difference Between a 301 and 302 Redirect?



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You have a website.

You have a domain name.

What happens if after a while you decide you don't like that domain name?

What do you do?

Hey everyone, I'm Neil Patel, and today I'm going to be explaining how you can use 301

and 302 redirects, as well as what's the difference between them?

First off, if you have a domain name, let's say you started out with abcd.com, and you

decided, "You know what?

I hate these four letter domain names.

They're too long.

I actually want a two letter domain name.

I just want ab.com."

If you decide that it's too long and you're going to change from abcd.com to ab.com, you

want to do what's called a 301 redirect.

A 301 redirect tells Google that, "Hey, we changed names.

We have a new domain name.

Take all our existing rankings from this site, and transfer it over to this new site."

They do that.

It roughly takes anywhere from a few weeks to sometimes up to a few months to fully kick

in, but when you do a 301 redirect, you're telling Google, "We've permanently moved."

Think of it as changing an address.

When you move locations, a new apartment, a new home, you're telling the postal service

that, "Hey, I've changed locations," and now they forward all mail to your new address.

The same thing happens when you use a 301 redirect.

A 302 redirect, on the other hand, is telling Google, "Hey, we temporarily changed locations."

Think of it as you're going to a summer home and you're staying there, so you want your

mail forwarded there for a few months, and then your going to go back to your original

home.

That's the same way it works on the web with a 302 redirect, in which, let's say you offer

winter products and summer products, so your domain name is abcd.com/summer, and you decide

that, "Hey, summer's over.

We're now going to shift into winter products."

Well, you can do a 302 redirect saying, "Hey, we've moved abcd.com/summer to abcd.com/winter."

That tells Google, "Hey, temporarily, send all the traffic and the rankings, et cetera

to abcd.com/winter."

Now, in the eyes of Google, they said recently that they start looking at 301 redirects and

302 redirects the same, but not all search engines do this.

If you do a permanent move, use a 301, and if you're doing a temporary move, use a 302

redirect.

You can do this for whole domain names, and you can do this for web URLs as well.

It could be web pages on your site, subdirectories, sub-domains, et cetera.

If you're going to do this, I could say, "Hey, here's how to do it," but I don't recommend

that you actually do the redirects yourself unless you're technical.

I did this with my own website, neilpatel.com/br.

I made a mistake with my 301 redirects, and you know what?

I eventually fixed it, but my traffic didn't bounce back.

It went to 90% of where it was.

It took roughly three months to recuperate most of the traffic.

The point I'm trying to make is one little glitch or mess up can really hurt your traffic.

Go to upwork.com and on that website, you can find developers for 100 bucks, 200 bucks,

that'll do this change for you.