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What is a 302 Redirect?

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

What is a 302 Redirect?
A 302 Redirect is a server response code denoting a temporary change in the location of a webpage. This type of redirect informs the browser that the content it's looking for has moved temporarily and provides the new URL. Unlike a 301 redirect which is permanent, a 302 redirection status is useful when the shift is temporary - such as during site maintenance or A/B testing of a new page.
It's essential to note that while a 302 redirect does forward visitors to a new page, it doesn't pass the SEO value like a 301 redirect. Therefore, search engines will continue to index the original URL. Understanding these nuances is key when deploying 302 redirects to prevent potential SEO consequences.
Moreover, 302 redirects are also browser-dependent, which means different browsers may interpret them differently. Some may treat them as 301 redirects, which can result in unintended SEO fluctuations.
The role of 302 Redirects in digital marketing
The primary role of a 302 redirect in digital marketing is to ensure a smooth user experience when a website or a webpage is undergoing temporary changes. This could be due to a variety of reasons like content updates, website maintenance, or testing new pages for user engagement.
A key functionality of a 302 redirect in digital marketing is it allows marketers to direct traffic away from certain pages temporarily without impacting their search engine rankings, since a 302 signals to search engines that the move is just temporary.
It's also significant in A/B testing where it's crucial to divert audiences to different versions of a webpage without affecting the original page's SEO value. A 302 redirect thus plays an important part in enhancing website performance and ensuring a smoother UX while preserving SEO rankings.
302 Redirect examples
An online clothing store may make use of 302 redirects when updating their catalog for a seasonal sale. The original page might be temporarily moved to a 'sale' version to engage customers. After the sale, traffic can be redirected back to the original URL.
Another instance can be a news site temporarily moving an article to a specific section for a special event. A 302 redirect can be used to guide readers to the shifted article, maintaining seamless user engagement.
Also, when conducting A/B testing for a new webpage design, a 302 redirect can send a section of the website visitors to the test page, enabling the business to evaluate user engagement metrics without affecting the original page's SEO.