The topic of redirects has been a confusing matter since the creation of the HTTP Status Codes. I prefer to use the analogy of the telephone to help describe this situation. An HTTP Status Code 301 indicates that the page has permanently relocated or changed its address. We get this with a phone when we change the phone number and a caller receives a new phone number to use. Effectively, it is a notice that the old address no longer exists and all references to it must be deleted and the new address should be used. The 302 HTTP Status Code indicates that the change is only temporary and all future references should be based upon the URL used to find the page. This is much like using a forward option on your phone to have it redirect to your cell phone while you’re away from the office.
As seen my monthly column in the December 2005 issue of Practical eCommerce magazine.