A redirect is a way that a website owner can send traffic requesting one URL to another URL. There two commonly used redirects that I will cover in this post.
Types of Redirects important for SEO:
A 301 redirect (301 Moved Permanently) is an HTTP Response Code that tells a client that a URL has moved location. A 301 redirect will pass between 90-99% of link equity from the old URL to the new URL. It’s the best redirect method for SEO.
A 303 redirect (302 Found) is an HTTP Response Code that tells a client that a URL has moved location temporarily. A 302 redirect won’t pass all the link equity from the old URL to the new URL. It’s against SEO best practice to use a 302 redirect.
Each redirection HTTP status code has their place and I will share some use case examples below.
Imagine you’ve removed a page from your website that has gained several backlinks from other websites. Rather than wasting the link equity by showing search engines the HTTP status code 404 Not Found, you use a 301 redirect to another relevant page on your website passing the link equity.
Now imagine that you’ve taken a page down from your website but it will return in a few weeks. You would want to tell search engines that the page is gone but only temporarily. In this case, the 302 redirect will work fine.
There are many ways to implement 301 redirects it depends on how technical you are and your server’s configuration.
If you’re using WordPress you can use a plugin called Simple 301 redirects, which is easy to use. Otherwise, it’s best to speak to a developer or your website host to get their recommendation.