Commonly Used Redirects: 301, 302, 404 in SEO [Proper Info]


Re-direct is a process of moving or directing the search engine and the visitors from one URL to another URL. The old URL may be removed or unavailable for the time being or the URL of a site has been changed and in all these cases you do not want to lose search engine’s attention and the visitors and you bring them to new URL of your site.

The most commonly used re-directs are 301, 302 and error 404.

Redirect 301:

Redirect 301

It’s a type of re-direct that tells the search engine that a page or site has been permanently moved to some new location. The main purpose of re-direct command is to ask search engine to leave the old URL and index the new page URL. In 301 re-direct, almost 99% page ranking is transferred to new page from the old one. It also avoids confusion of search engine to duplicate the contents (of old and new page).

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For applying 301 re-direct, you need “.htaccess” file for writing the command in it. As mentioned above you can have .htaccess in the root folder of your website and then write the command in it. If a page or file URL has been changed and you want to re-direct the traffic, the code will be as below:

RedirectPermanent /old_file.html


Redirect 301 /old_file.html

If you want to re-direct a domain who’s URL has been changed then:

RedirectPermanent /

Redirect 302:

It’s another type of re-direct which is used for a temporary move of search engine to the new page. In this case, the old page is not dropped by search engine and new page is not indexed. It transfers 0% page ranking to the new page and hence it must not be used.

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This is good for situations when a page or site is unavailable for some time due to maintenance reasons and the owner want to transfer traffic to another location just for time being. Always try to use re-direct 301 in every case to keep your page rankings and worth with respect to search engine.

Redirect 404 (Error message):

Redirect 404 (Error message)

This is another re-direct commonly called 404 error message and it’s a client side error.

This error message is displayed in response to the reason that a user could not access a web page due to its unavailability or slow server speed or any other reason.


This also appears when user type wrong URL for a site or when a web site or page is moved or removed.

You can guide the user through this error message to move to new location on inform him/her about removed page.

The main purpose of re-direct 404 is to customize the possible errors that can appear at client end and instead of displaying a weird looking browser error page, provide the visitor with some details of errors and guide him to right location.

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