In the case of with 302’s that maybe you wait a bit more to be sure whether you should treat it as a 301?

In the case of with 302’s that maybe you wait a bit more to be sure whether you should treat it as a 301?

Webmaster Guru Asked on June 14, 2017 in 301.
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JOHN MEULLER (Webmaster Analyst from Google):

Probably. So essentially, that’s a hard question. That’s a really hard problem, deciding which URL to actually keep indexed. So it’s essentially the question of canonicalization. You have two URLs. There is some signals between those URLs that you know about. And the question is, which one of these should you show in the search results? Which one should be the canonical URL? And if you have a redirect, then that helps us to understand the situation a little bit better. With a 302, you’re saying that the redirecting URL is the one that you prefer. And a 301, you’re saying the destination one is the one that you prefer. So a 302 is like saying, well, this is one better. And a 301 would be saying that one is better. But we don’t look at just the redirects. We look at other things as well. As if there’s a canonical tag on this page, how the internal links within the website point at these pages, what you have in your sitemap file, external links as well, all of these things add up. And they say, well, overall, the signals point at this URL, or overall the signals point at that URL. So it’s not so much a case that you leave a 302 in place for a while and then it magically turns into a 301. It’s more the case that over time, these signals change. And if everyone starts linking to the destination page, but there’s a 302 redirect, then probably we should be indexing the destination page instead, because that’s the everyone is using. So it’s really a hard problem, I’d say, with search engines to pick the right canonical URL, and this is something that we have teams that are still working on this. So it’s not a solved problem, even though we’ve been at it for such a long time.

 

Webmaster Guru Answered on June 14, 2017.
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