During a Google+ hangout on Oct 16th 2015, Google’s John Mueller announced that Google may decide to view 302 temporary redirects as 301 permanent redirects.
Mueller mentioned that there is confusion around 302 temporary redirects. It’s deemed okay to use 302s and that they pass PageRank and link weight through just like 301s. When a 302 redirect has been setup, initially Google will show the originating URL in the search results because Google will count this as a temporary change. Then over time, Google may interpret that the 302 hasn’t been removed and class the URL change as permanent i.e. view it as a 301 redirect the same as a normal 301 redirect.
Here is an embed of the Video from the 22:15 minute mark where John Mueller discusses 302 redirects:
Here is the transcript from the YouTube Video
I think there is a bit of a misconception out there on 302s being bad for your web sites and being bad for your PageRank… In face, it is definitely not the case.
When we recognize a redirect and we see it is a 302, we assume it is a temporary redirect first and we assume you want the original URL indexed, not the redirected target. In general, that is one thing we like to do there.
However, when we recognize it is actually more like a permanent redirect and 302 is something that you may have accidentally set up, then we do treat that as a 301. We say, instead of indexing the redirected URL we redirection target.
So it is not a matter of passing PageRank or not, both of these redirects pass PageRank, it is just a matter of which of these URLs we actually show in the search results. Is it the one that is being redirected, which would make sense if it is a temporary redirect. Or is it the one that is it being redirected to, which would make sense if it is a permanent redirect.
We do look at the HTTP result if it is a 301 or 302, we also try to be smarter about that and try to fix any mistakes the webmaster might have made.
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