301 vs 307 Redirect – Which URL Redirection Should You Use?

301 vs 307 redirect, url redirection

Do you need to use a 301 or 307 redirect to reserve top-level domains, make it easier to remember affiliate links or maybe to log impressions and clicks on outgoing links?

Understanding 301 vs 307 redirect is easy.

First, for anyone NOT familiar with URL redirection, also known as URL forwarding, or could use more of an understanding, it’s like calling your local department store. Your call is routed through the main line to the customer service desk. You tell them what department you want and they redirect, or forward your call. It’s a lot simpler to memorize a shorter sequence of numbers and leave the call routing to the employee versus having to remember the store number and extension codes for each department.

That’s exactly how URL redirection works.

301 Permanent URL Redirection

301 permanent URL redirection passes along all properties of the forwarding address to the target. When URL-a is indexed, a 301 simply indicates to ignore URL-a and index URL-b. Therefore all of the ranking authority goes to the target URL.

Using 301 Permanent URL Redirection

Changing Domain Names

301 permanent URL redirection can be a life saver when a domain names changes. For example, if a business is acquired or takes on a new name then their web site will undoubtedly reflect it. However, their audience will continue to use the old URL. Since the name change is permanent, a 301 redirect should be used in this case to redirect traffic to the new URL.

So if you want the search engines to continue to find you, I suggest using 301 permanent URL redirection to update the URL of the former address in the search results. All SEO stays intact.

Reserving Top-Level Domains (TLD)

Reserving top-level domains is all about protecting your brand. A lot of .coms have a well established name and because of that, there are those who purchase the same domain but with .net, .org, etc. in an effort to get a piece of the traffic for their own benefit. Protect your brand by purchasing additional TLDs, then parking the domain by using 301 URL redirection to point it to your primary TLD.

Google.net, google.info, google.biz, google.us instantly redirect you to back to google.com, the primary TLD.

URL Shortening for Links

If you have an important link that consists of an incredibly long alphanumerical string, chances are you will NEVER put it to memory. URL shortening will turn ‘domain.com/example?%20pooekp-w039q90ueh&20qu3ihie’ to ‘domain.com/here’. Applying 301 URL redirection here gives you a simple link that’s super easy to remember that will redirect to the true address when used.

Another example is, you can find my Google Plus profile by going to:
gplus.to/ikenj”
…which will then redirect you to:
“https://plus.google.com/u/0/114977348989238448874.”

If YOU have a Google Plus account, I don’t think you enjoy having such a long URL.

URL shortening is one of my favorite uses of 301 URL redirection.

307 Temporary URL Redirection

Unlike 301, 307 temporary URL redirection retains all of the properties of the forwarding address. When URL-a is indexed, a 302 simply indicates to continue indexing URL-a as usual and ignore URL-b, even though the content has been relocated. URL-b is temporary and URL-a will be used again in the future without url redirection. All of the ranking authority stays with the forwarding URL.

The primary use for 307 temporary URL redirection is relocating pages for website maintenance.

So to wrap up, over 95% of the time, you’d be just fine sticking to 301 redirects. However, if your website is running WordPress, chances are you won’t be able to create functional 301 redirects through your cPanel or vDesk. Thankfully, there’s a WordPress plugin that will enable you to shrink, cloak, track, organize, share and test all of your links on your own domain and server.


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Comments

  1. Thanks for this post.

    I’m using 307s for a site redesign where the old site is 10 years old and chock full of old content. We are slowly pulling the old content into the new site but didn’t want to wait any longer to launch. It’ll take us another 6 months at least!

    We prioritized moving and 301ing anything with more than N referred hits over the past 6 months and we’ve 307’d the parts of the site with low traffic to a sub domain that has the all of the old content intact (archive.mysite.com/blah). Decided to 307 because we sill want http://www.mysite.com/blah to be the known/canonical url and don’t want to follow our tails with having to add 301s to the archive domain every time we get a piece of content moved over to the new site.

    It’s all an experiment—I’ve never done this before. We’ll see how it goes!

  2. Huh? 301 for affiliate links? Doesn’t 301 pass through all the linkjuice?

    • I use an internal path [mysite.com/affiliatelink] with 301 [permanent] redirection for my affiliate links because they do not change. However, I also make sure I add a rel=”nofollow” tag to my links to prevent leaking PR [link juice].

      What is your method?

  3. Hi Ike. Thank you for this very informative post. I am confused of whether to use 301 or 307 for cleaning my affiliate link. But I think I will use 301 now using pretty links.