308 redirects for SEO – Are they better than 301?

The 308 redirect response code is gradually gaining popularity, with an increasing number of website owners preferring 308 redirects over 301s. But are they any better for SEO? Let’s find out. 

What is a 308 redirect?

The 308 redirect status response code indicates that the requested resource has been permanently relocated to the URL specified in the Location headers. For SEO, this instructs the search engines that the page and all of its resources have been permanently redirected and the link juice is passed to the redirected page.

What is the difference between 301 and 308 redirects?

308 and 301 redirects are similar in many ways. Both indicate that the resource has been permanently moved to a new location. 

The main difference between the 301 and 308 redirects is that when a 308 redirect code is specified, the client must repeat the exact same request (POST or GET) on the target location. For 301 redirect, the client may not necessarily follow the exact same request. For example, the client may change a GET request into a POST request in the case of a 301 redirect. 

What does Google say about 308 redirects?

Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller, has said in the past that 308 redirects are treated as 301 by the crawlers. 

Here’s the snippet from Twitter:

Recently, a user on Twitter addressed the growing popularity of 308 redirects and asked whether they had any SEO benefits.

Here’s the tweet:

“Have I missed the memo? When did 308 redirects become more popular than a 301? Seeing a lot of sites favoring 308s recently… Is there any REAL benefit or difference? @JohnMu maybe you can shed some light?”

Google’s John Mueller responded to this:

“My feeling is that 308’s are technically cleaner, if you’re not sure which kind of request the site gets (GET, POST, etc). In practice, most sites’ requests are going to be mostly GET, so it’s all the same.”

Key Takeaway

Google treats 308 redirects the same as 301 redirects, but they need to be specified correctly. You can have greater control over the sort of request the browser/crawler should follow by using 308 redirects. 

308 redirects allow you to specify a POST or GET request on the target location. This is something you can’t do with 301s. If you are unsure about the request type and don’t want to get too technical, your best bet is to use 301 redirections.

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308 redirects for SEO – Are they better than 301?