A 302 redirect indicates that the content of a page has been temporarily moved to another URL and redirects requests from the original URL to that of the redirect destination.
In SEO, the temporary 302 redirects are used in very specific scenarios, in which it is necessary to redirect access from some content to another only temporarily, without entailing a complete migration.
This temporality is the main difference between a 302 redirect and a 301 redirect, recommended for permanent migrations.
In other words, a 302 redirect is triggered when Google robots or other search engines request to load a specific page. At that moment, thanks to this redirection, the server returns an automatic response indicating the new URL.
In this way, errors and annoyances for both search engine crawlers and users are avoided, guaranteeing smooth navigation.
How is it Different from the 301 Redirects?
The 301 redirect and the 302 redirects are very similar. The difference is in temporality. While in 301 what we do is fix that new address permanently, in redirect 302 we indicate that this change of location is temporary.
For practical purposes, for the user, there is no significant difference since in both cases the browser will direct you to the web address that is currently operational and updated.
For all practical purposes, a user does not notice the difference between a 302 redirect and a 301 redirect.
A search engine, on the other hand, interprets a 302 redirect to the letter: the transfer is temporary, and therefore, it understands that the original URL is the one that must be kept indexed and positioned because in the short or medium-term it will be used again.
And whatever kind of authority and link juice you have previously gained is not transferred to the URL that receives the redirect, because the original URL is expected to be restored in the future.
The current controversy with the use of 302 redirects is that they are often not used correctly, which ends up confusing search engines.
We have known many cases in which the correct thing would be for the redirect to be 301 since the content has been moved to another route permanently.
And yet, a 302 response code has been used instead, thus preventing the proper transmission of popularity and relevance to the new page from being carried out, and the old URL from being successfully replaced by the new one in the search results.
When Should We Use the 302 Redirects?
The 302 redirect is very specific and its specific use is restricted to directing both users and Google robots and the rest of the search engines to a temporary address during the time it takes to solve a specific problem that we have on our page.
The most common reasons for using a 302 redirect (as we have mentioned, always temporarily) are usually: