Let’s assume you own a business, which means you likely operate a website. We’ll also wager that you or your marketing team spend time updating its pages, adding new content, or removing outdated pages that don’t bring in relevant traffic or push you to the top of customers’ search results.
With so many changes occurring in one place, you need to utilize SEO best practices to ensure a seamless website experience for your users and search engines.
So, let’s take a minute to talk about redirects. Redirects send users from one URL to another, but if not used correctly, they can cause problems, including slow page load times, broken links, and decreased search engine rankings.
Notice we said “redirects” vs. “redirect”? The plural means there is more than one. In fact, there are three: 301, 302, and 307.
Why do we use redirects?
Redirects should be part of your ongoing website maintenance and serve two equally important purposes:
- Getting users to the intended URL
- Getting search engine bots to crawl the intended URL
Both are integral for SEO rankings and usability. After all, what’s the point of that gorgeous page if no one – human or bot – can access it?
301 vs. 302 vs. 307
While they may all be in the 3XX family, you don’t want to use these three codes interchangeably. Let’s look at how these three redirects differ from one another.
301: A 301 indicates the page isn’t available at the original location anymore and should no longer be indexed that way. This redirect passes all the SEO value to a new URL. Use this only if you never plan to use the original URL again.
You might use a 301 redirect when permanently moving or deleting a page or changing the page’s permalink structure.
302: This used to be for temporary redirects, but it’s been replaced by the 307 and now is used infrequently. If you leave a 302 for too long, Google or Bing may start thinking of it as a 301 anyway, passing along the link’s value to the redirected URL.
307: A 307 is a temporary redirect, meaning your URL has been moved for now but will eventually be back. This distinction is important for site visitors and helps search engines understand how you’re using the URL in question.
Use this code only when the redirect is temporary. In this instance, you know you’ll be using the old URL again, so you don’t want to lose or move its SEO performance.
You might use a 307 temporary redirect when temporarily shutting down the site for routine maintenance, changing your domain name, or moving to a new Content Management System (e.g., going from Wix to WordPress).
It’s also a good idea to use a 307 when updating your content, which you’ll want to be doing every couple of months.
What’s at stake: If you omit using redirects or use the incorrect redirect status code, you risk a dreaded 404 error message and potentially losing the precious SEO rankings you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Is a 307 redirect bad for SEO?
No, a 307 redirect isn’t bad for SEO. That’s because you’re indicating how you want the page indexed and that its value should remain with the original URL.
Clean up your website
Understanding redirects can help you troubleshoot website issues, ensuring your customers have a seamless experience.
Need help with an outdated site full of broken links? Brandography’s SEO team can help clean up your front- and back-end for a seamless customer experience and prevent you from losing valuable link juice. With our help, you’ll see faster load times, improved SEO rankings, and better UX for all!
Schedule an initial consultation with our team to chat through your current digital marketing frustrations. We’d love to offer advice and recommendations to keep your website pristine and ahead of the competition.