Now that more people paying attention to SEO, it is becoming a commin knowledge between the difference of 301 and 302 redirects. – In case you don’t this Moz.com page explains it pretty well.
I recently came across to a situation where I wanted to advice a client to change their vanity URLs from a 302 redirect to a 301 redirect.
Then it hit me. is there a situation that using 302 redirects is a better choice? Despite the fact that “301 redirects vs. 302 redirects” is such a talked about topic why some people still use it? Everyone knows 301 is the way to go in terms of passing link juice!
What is the advantage of using 302? Let’s take a look at some of the 302 redirect examples that make sense.
Advantages of utilizing a 302 redirect over a 301 redirect examples
Upon searching Google, I came across to Matt Cutts’s Jan 2006 blog post that explains utilizing 302 redirects will make the vanity URLs appear on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) rather than the destination URL.
This gives a very good reason to use 302 redirects because the difference might influence user behaviors such as;
- Easier to remember URL = shared more
- Easier to read URL = Improved click through rate
Example 1) San Francisco Giants official website – 302 redirect a vanity URL
San Francisco Giants 302 redirects a vanity URL www.sfgiants.com to http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=sf. As a result, when search for “San Francisco Giants” on Google.com, www.sfgiants.com is displayed rather than the actual destination URL on SERP.
Example 2) Verizon Wireless – 301 redirect a vanity URL
Verizon wireless 301 redirects a vanity URL http://vzw.com to http://www.verizonwireless.com/. As a result, when search for “Verizon Wireless” on Google.com, http://www.verizonwireless.com/ is displayed rather than the vanity URL on SERP.
Example of when to use a 302 redirect on a home page
Apart from making the vanity URL appear on SERP as mentioned above, redirecting out of stock product pages and redirecting a homepage designed to target multi market segments are good ways to use a 302 redirect.
One thing for sure though, a good rule of thumb is to use a 301 redirect unless you plan to revert the URL back within few days, then a 302 redirect is your choice.
302 redirect should only be applied when the redirect is temporary or when there is a good business reason to show a vanity URL on SERP. Otherwise 301 redirect should be your best friend when it comes to applying redirect to a URL.
I wonder if there are more situations and examples when using a 302 redirect is more ideal. If you have come across to one please feel free to share it in the comment section, or point me to the site and I will add it on to this post for more data points.