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Are 302 redirects always bad for Google SEO?

Pros and Cons of 302 Redirects

2:53 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A debate I am having with other webmaster friends:

Does Google still penalize the target page of GoDaddy 302 redirects (and also possibly the target pages of other "blackhat" 302 redirects)? I know it used to, at least until Big Daddy and subsequent algo changes earlier this year related to canonicalization.

My opinion: It doesn't look like it to me, and it seems the other opinions are primarily based on the old Googlebug 302 fiasco, since supposedly fixed, as well as other improper uses of 302 redirects that Google has since (or always) penalized. I may be wrong, and often am, but what I think I am hearing from other sources is primarily old SE dogma that may be correct in some cases, and may have been correct at one time, but does not seem to apply universally any more.

Proofs (or evidence if you prefer):
1) I have several GoDaddy 302 redirects from my Godaddy vanity domains to my primary home page, domain registered but not hosted at GoDaddy, and it is still indexed, and not supplemental, and has been at a very stable PR3 for all of two years.
2) Google doesn't seem to be confused, and doesn't list any redirects from any other domains to deeper pages on my main site, as shown with allinurl or inurl commands, including the several GoDaddy domain 302 redirects to deep pages that I know are in place.
3) Only the canonical target pages of my main site are listed in Google's indexes. Many are supplemental, and there are good reasons that I am OK with that, since they are at least crawlable and listed somewhere, and they are low content pages anyway, so I can see why Google doesn't include them in its main index.

Any other indications I should be looking for in this case?


I know that some 302 redirects in Java scripts and/or php scripts on a page can be interpreted by Google to be doorway pages, and that page penalized, but that is not the case here.

I also know that 301 redirects are generally preferred, and necessary in some cases, but GoDaddy (still) doesn't support them for its domain redirects, and I do not have access to .htaccess file on my GoDaddy domains to be making any changes there.

I really don't want the vanity/special domain names being indexed, and it seems that either Google is smart enough to not do that, or GoDaddy may have noindex set by default on the redirected domains. Since they point to my main domain and web site, it would only cause duplicate issues anyway.

Most of the Godaddy 302 domain redirects, those to the deep pages, are to a third level domain name at my web host's domain name servers that is aliased to the specific target page. That being the case, am I inadvertantly avoiding the issues that a 302 redirect may cause, because the DNS is handling filtering of the redirect and turning it into an alias as far as Google is concerned? That might explain no penalty for the deep pages, but not redirects to the home page, unless the fact that all of the redirect targets are to the www. version of my home page, so they get handled as DNS alias resolutions as well.

Help! I have spent hours in the last couple of days reading Matt Cutts blogs on this year's Google changes, and other forum sources on this subject, and cannot seem to find the "right" answer to this question. The "right" answer may determine if I need to move 90+ domains from GoDaddy to another registrar whos domain redirection uses 301s, which I really do not want to do unless there is no other alternative.

12:05 pm on Nov 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Could anyone possibly post links to pages which explain how to setup a 307 Temporary redirect on a domain on both IIS and Apache servers?

This would be a great help.

Thank you.

7:16 am on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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clarification on what exactly is a 307 redirect:

in response to a GET request, which is what spiders send, there is no difference between a 302 and 307. the difference between 302 and 307 only comes into play while in response to a POST request.

moreover, GoogleBot advertises itself as an HTTP/1.0 client (more specifically HTTP/1.0 with Host Header support). 307s are not compatible with HTTP/1.0, and even though there seems to be evidence that googlebot advertises HTTP/1.0 but operates on HTTP/1.1, i would not risk using a 307 for the sake of keeping an SE updated/happy. what would be the advantage anyways?

from microsoft technet: "[307] is used to prevent a Web browser from losing data when the browser issues an HTTP POST request. Normally, when a Web browser issues a POST request and then receives a 302-Object Moved redirect message from the Web server, the browser issues a GET request for the new location and loses the data in the POST request. With a 307 redirect, the browser reissues the POST request with the original data to the new location."

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