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Friday, February 03, 2006

302 Redirects

Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO » SEO advice: discussing 302 redirects: "In a previous post I talked a little bit about 302s. Let’s cover them in more detail. A 302 redirect can be on-domain or off-domain. On-domain is simple and not prone to hijacking, so let’s talk about that first. Suppose you go to www.xbox.com and the site does a 302 redirect to some really long url, or a url with a session ID (this used to be what xbox.com did a couple years ago. Now you end up at e.g. www.xbox.com/en-US/, but play along with me). Would you rather see www.xbox.com or www.xbox.com/home/redir/sess?session=23412341234124124231455423633 ? Yeah, I’d rather see just www.xbox.com too. That’s why for on-domain 302 redirects (that is, a redirect in which both the source page and the destination page are both on the same domain), search engines will usually pick the shorter url. Hopefully that makes sense. I’d rather see www.example.com than www.example.com/deep/home/page?last=root&sessid=909345AF2343 , and I think most people would too.
Q: Time out. I’ve got a question. What’s the deal with 302 vs. 301? What does that mean? What’s the difference?
A: The “302″ refers to the HTTP status codes that are returned to your browser when you request a page. For example, a 404 page is called a “404″ because web servers return a status code of 404 to indicate that a requested page wasn’t found. The difference between a 301 and a 302 is that a 301 status code means that a page has permanently moved to a new location, while a 302 status code means that a page has temporarily moved to a new location. For example, if you try to fetch a page http://example.com/ and the web server says “That’s a 301. Th"


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