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How is the short URL redirection made in a dynamic QR code?

How is the short URL redirection made in a dynamic QR code?

The role of redirects in dynamic QR codes.

Dynamic QR codes are encoded with a managed Short URL that redirects to you Destination URL, providing three key benefits:

  1. Allows changing the destination of the code after printing
  2. Reduces the size & complexity of the code, which results in faster scanning
  3. Provides management and tracking

Delivr uses a "302 redirect" in the managed Short URL.

What is a 302 redirect?

A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect that indicates the requested resource has been temporarily moved to a new URL. This temporary nature of a 302 redirect is a core requirement and best practice for dynamic QR codes.

Here is a general overview of how this process works:

  1. The user enters a Long (Destination) URL into Delivr's Dynamic QR Code Generator.
  2. The QR Code Generator generates a unique, shortened URL for the Destination URL and saves both URLs in a database.
  3. The QR Code Generator encodes the managed Short URL in the QR code.
  4. When a user scans the QR code (or clicks on the managed Short URL), the server responds with a 302 status code and the Destination URL in the response header.
  5. The user's browser then automatically redirects to the Destination URL. Redirection is the process of forwarding one URL to a different URL.

Advantages of using 302 redirects

The usage of 302 redirects offers several benefits:

  • 302 redirects allow you to alter or update the redirection in the future without affecting any current links utilizing the managed Short URL. e.g., You have a temporary promotion and want to redirect your QR code to a unique landing page.
  • 302 redirects allow you to measure clicks on the managed Short URL. Because the user's browser instantly redirects to the original URL, the URL shortening service can track how often the Short URL is clicked and utilize this data for analytics. 
  • 302 redirects allow you to intelligently route (redirect) users to the desired link based on their device OS, preferred language, or location.
  • 302 redirects allow you to A/B split-test the design and functionality of a new landing page.
  • 302 redirects positively impacts SEO as a 302 redirect leaves link equity and page rank in place. e.g., preserving backlinks, providing flexibility, improving user experience, and speeding up the redirect process.

Do 302 redirects hurt SEO performance?

No. According to the public relations team at Google, the ultimate SEO impact between 301 and 302 redirects is small. Google's John Mueller explains that the search engine will see the use of a 302 temporary redirect as a reason for Googlebot to come back and check the original page.

Here's how Google has publicly described the difference between 301 and 302 redirects:

 "What's the difference between 301 and 302 redirects? Well, both send users onward; the difference is subtle but small. A 301 is a permanent redirect, so the destination is what we keep. A 302 is a temporary redirect, so we'll come back to the start to double-check. They're just different ways of redirecting. Use the right kind when you can but don't worry about magical SEO dust. Both work fine."

The truth is that there is very little difference between 301 and 302 redirects in SEO. In terms of PageRank, the Google ranking algorithm treats all 300-level redirects the same – as has been confirmed by Google – and SEO ranking authority is preserved in all cases Google's John Mueller ensures that it's best to "use the right kind when you can but don't worry about magical SEO dust. Both work fine". All 300-level server-side redirects pass PageRank to the destination page.

Why should dynamic QR codes avoid using 301 redirects?

A 301 redirect is permanent, indicating that the original Destination URL is permanent. When using a dynamic QR code, your destination is adjustable, allowing you to change it anytime without reprinting it.

For example, you may need to connect your QR code to a specific campaign, event, or other transitory purpose that will change in the future. In this case, when a 301 redirect is utilized, various network services may route your audience to the original link long after the campaign or event has concluded and the link updated, resulting in a bad user experience.

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Delivr® is a privacy-first software and services company serving thousands of businesses looking to drive audiences from offline to online experiences. Established in 2008, Delivr has developed software to track and visualize consumer engagement with print and broadcast media, labels and packaging. With Super Simple Serialization℠ and TrueMrk®, Delivr is extending its MarTech product suite to serialize and authenticate products. Headquartered in New York.