302 Redirect Definition & Meaning

What Is a 302 Redirect?

A 302 redirect is an HTTP status code sent by a web server to a browser that signals a temporary redirect from one URL to another. 302 redirects happen on the server side and are not noticed by users when set up correctly.

302 redirects are important because they allow you to redirect users to a temporary web page without experiencing a 404 Not Found response code; meaning the web server could not find the web page being requested.

A common example of using a 302 redirect is when you’re updating a web page on your site. You wouldn’t want visitors to see the new content until it’s ready, so you would use a 302 redirect to send them to a new web page for a short period of time. Once the updates are complete, you bring back the old page and remove the 302 redirect so users are sent to the original URL.

302 redirects are also good for conducting A/B tests on a website. This allows you to measure performance without hurting your rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engines understand that the move is only temporary and will not lower your keyword rankings in the SERPs.

One thing to keep in mind for search engine optimization (SEO) and 302 redirects is that the temporary URL will not benefit from any link equity because search engines like Google know that the redirect won’t last very long. This means that any PageRank value for SEO that has been established for the original web page will not transfer to the new URL. Additionally, any inbound links the new URL acquires during the temporary move will not be transferred back to the old web page when the 302 redirect is removed.

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Go to the SEO Glossary to find more terms and definitions that relate to the field of search engine optimization.