Using 301 redirects rather than 302

Hi all, We have noticed recently that the use of temporary redirects (302 redirects) instead of 301 redirects can result in activity that is not compliant with our terms & conditions. We know that often this is unintentional, so we have worked together with a few of our affiliates to identify and prevent the problem. Here is an example to illustrate what can happen:

Many of our affiliates use a redirection page to help collect statistics on their click through to eBay. In these cases, when a user clicks on a link on the affiliate site, they are taken to a URL (redirection page) that logs the click through and then redirects them to an eBay page by using a 302 HTTP return code. The search engine crawler indexes the content it finds at the end of the temporary redirect (the eBay page) to the redirection URL. Therefore, when a user searches for content from the eBay page, the search engine results will contain matches to the redirection URL that link directly to eBay. This type of redirection is not compliant with our terms and conditions. A solution to this problem is to use permanent redirects, i.e. 301 return codes instead of 302. This will ensure that all the content on the destination page after the redirect is indexed to that page only.

If you are currently using a 302 redirect in a method similar to the one described above, please inform us by emailing CS and make the appropriate changes immediately. From June 8th 2010, we will treat this issue as an intentional breach of our terms and conditions and any affiliate exhibiting this behavior will be expired.

The eBay Partner Network team