Not a week goes by where I don’t learn something in this business, and last week blew me away. What I had always considered a hard cold SEO fact turned out to be not true, despite there being claims to the contrary all over the web.
I was floored. I have long KNOWN that when you develop a new website or change a URL, best practices say to do so with a 301 Permanent redirect, and NEVER a 302 Temporary: What floored me even more, was that Barry said this:
This is probably obvious to most of you but I don’t think I covered a Google saying that 302 redirects to indeed pass PageRank, aka link juice.
Obvious to Most of You?
Did I miss a memo? Everybody in the industry knows that 302’s are bad, don’t they?
Even the Redirect Guide at Moz is wrong, and says this:
What Google Says Now
I watched the video of John Mueller saying it for myself, and he said this –
“However, when we recognize that it’s actually more like a permanent redirect and the 302 is something that you maybe accidentally set up,
then we do treat that as a 301.”
Others Did Notice
In October, Google said they MAY sometimes treat 302’s as 301s, but I’d heard nothing else about it.
However, I do find after searching that Michael Martinez wrote about some test results last summer, and others have questioned it also, but there’s no affirmation from any Googlers that I can find until now.
If it’s really true, I think its a pretty important change…
Because The SEO Audit I Delivered Was Wrong
To the client for whom I delivered that expensive audit last month, I’m sorry. Although I try to stay on top of things in the industry, sometimes things get by me, and I was wrong.
You did not actually have to fix this, and we did not have to send 11 emails back and forth with your developers.
The fact that your rankings have returned must be a total coincidence.
You did not “dodge a bullet” as you put it, and I’m especially sorry for saying that “your developers should have known better in the first place”.
Google is like the weather here in Portland… If you don’t like it, don’t worry, it’ll be different tomorrow.