301 redirect or 308 redirect?

What is the difference between 301 and 308 redirects?


Permanent Redirects

Redirects are a way of forwarding a resource to a different URL. At the SEO level they are very important to preserve and ensure the accessibility of a resource to the Spider and improve the user experience to visitors.

In general, we have different types of redirects but the most significant difference concerns its validity whether temporary or permanent.

Until now, among permanent redirects the most widely used has always been the 301, which indicates to the Search Engine a permanent transfer of a URL, but for the past few years there has been the inclusion of a new status code with the same functionality, the 308.

When do I use redirects?

Redirects are widely used from an SEO perspective; some of the most frequent applications of use include:

  • Domain change: for example, in a rebranding during a migration.
  • merging two or more websites: redirects are used to pass rankings and safeguard navigational UX.
  • http to https transition.
  • Special offers: offers with an expiration date in which to use a temporary redirect (formerly 302)
  • When deleting pages: useful for passing ranking to a new resource and maintaining pre-existing backlinks. In this case, if the resource will never be available again a status code 410 might be ameliorative.

Among the most common mistakes when making unknowing use of redirects are “Redirect Chains” or “Redirect Loops.”

Redirect Chain: redirect chains occur in case of multiple redirects between the requested resource and the final destination. Following the official Google documentation, it is inferred that the Spider will follow up to the 10th redirect step and therefore, on the SEO side it might not be considered a problem with shorter chains. Experience, on the other hand, shows that this scenario, applied on large sites, inexorably wastes the “Crawling Budget” and could be extremely negative in Search Engine optics that could lower the “crawl rate” of the project..

Redirect Loop: infinite redirects that occur when a URL redirects to itself or, when a node in the “Redirect Chain” redirects to a previous node. In this case the UX would be compromised and the “too many redirects” error could be generated in the browser.

Redirect 301 – 308

Both redirects are permanent but have some very significant differences.

Considering the main features, we can say that both redirects communicate permanent URL transfer and transfer Link Juice.

Substantial differences include:

Redirect 301

  • Is stored in the browser cache;
  • risks changing method and body of the HTTP header, and some input data may not be transmitted.

Redirect 308

  • by default is not cached in the browser, and changes take effect immediately;
  • maintains HTTP header body and method, and all input data is transmitted.

Redirect and Screaming Frog

Redirects are fairly simple to use on a conceptual level but dress a very important role from an SEO perspective.

To always keep your website healthy I recommend you always use Screaming Frog which, in a simple and intuitive way allows you to view any redirect chains or loops in links through different reports in addition to the possibility of sidebar consultation in the “Overview” tab – “Internal- External” section.


Related Tab: Response Code | Sidebar | Report


Seo Spider Tab