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Lesson 2 Vocab 04 - 302 Redirect

Yep, there's another type of redirect other than the 301. This version is used to tell web browsers and search engines that we are temporarily telling people to visit another web page, or domain. BUT some time real soon this redirect will be removed.

In the 301 Redirect I gave examples of two stores merging, or alternative domain names, or legal reasons as to why you use that feature. Those were all permanent reasons to force someone to view a new website even thought they typed in something else.

Finding uses for the 302 Redirect is not so obvious. In fact, only very savvy website owners, and our students, will ever understand the true power of the 302.

Let's say that you are holding a Trunk Show in two weeks. You want to make sure that all the visitors to your store read about the trunk show. So you set up a special page on your website, include all the details of the show with wonderful ad copy and beautiful photographs. A finely crafted page might take you all afternoon to put together.

How do you direct traffic to that Trunk Show page? You could simply put a photo with a link on your home page. That will certainly do it. All your visitors will defiantly click on that link, right?


The only way to guarantee that all of your visitors view your Trunk Show page is to temporarily turn it into your Home Page. You can force all visitors clicking on your home page to go to the Trunk Show page using a 302 Redirect. Effectively you're disabling your normal Home Page while the 302 is in place.

This next part is very important. You can use many different techniques to make someone jump from one page to another. You can use a meta tag to do it, and most programming languages have a feature that will redirect from one page to another. But only the savvy website owner will make sure that the redirect is a 302.

When Google sees a 302 it will assume you are smart, and you know what you are doing. So it will keep a record of your Home Page and the redirect will not affect how you are currently listed in the search engine. Google will periodically come back to see if the redirect has been removed.

Here's an example:
      302 redirects to
Even if someone clicks the link for "Home" they will redirect back to the Trunk Show page. You could use this technique for 2 weeks, but I don't recommend much more than that.

Another example is if you want to direct visitors to your latest newsletter. Perhaps you just set up a page for your newsletter and want to force visitors to see it for a few days. The 302 is also perfect for that.

One word of caution though. The true success of a 302 is when you use it to go from one page on your website to another page on your website. DO NOT use it to jump to a different domain name. 302 redirects to different domains are amateurish mistakes made by inexperienced users and hackers, and Google will assume you are a hacker.
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:09:05 PM   LINK TO THIS ARTICLE

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