Like all other 300 HTTP Response Status Codes, a 301 Moved Permanently redirect transfers users from their original URL to a new destination. An HTTP code of 301 means that the page the user tried to access was moved permanently to a different URI. The 301 status code is also known as a “permanent redirect”. With a 301 redirect, the user will be automatically transferred to the page’s new destination.
301 Moved Permanently redirects are useful when you want to seamlessly transfer users from other addresses to your preferred URL. For example, if you’ve moved your site to a new domain, you can use a 301 redirect to bring users from your old URL to the new one. This is where the 301 permanent redirect works perfectly – users will automatically be redirected to the new domain, and your new location will retain the same link authority and ranking power in search engines.
This method is also handy if your page is accessible through many slightly different addresses (like http://site.com/home, http://www.site.com, http://home.site.com) you can use canonicalization and 301 redirects to bring users to the same home page.
When you’re working on SEO, 301 redirects are usually the best option. This is because when search engine bots crawl the page, permanent redirects retain most of the ranking power of the page prior to the destination change. The authority of inbound links will eventually transfer to the new destination.
For this reason, we recommend using 301 redirects over 302 Found or Moved Temporarily redirects. Most search engines do not retain the page’s ranking with a 302 redirect, so these are rarely the best option.