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I have a case where I have a newly built "author site" (promotes the author in general as a speaker and author) which needs to temporarily redirect traffic from the author's "book site" (focuses on advertising the specific book). Because of some upcoming publicity we want to redirect traffic from the book site to the author site as a truly temporary measure, but that redirect would probably only last for 1-2 months (until we see the flurry of activity regarding the publicity die down or until the author site has an opportunity to rise in search rankings).

At first glance this seems to be the situation designed for a 302 redirect, but I'm worried about losing link juice for the original book site. Would a 301 redirect be better (keeping in mind that this would be temporary) as long as the 301 redirect was lifted after 1-2 months?

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If it's temporary, then you should use a temporary solution!

A 301 tells the search engine that the page has moved, permanently. As a result, search engines will remove your main page from the index and index the new page instead. I can't tell how long it might take for search engines to do this, but it shouldn't be a long time.

On the other hand, a 302 keeps the main website in the index, however it will hurt your SEO as you know.

I would like to suggest another solution,

Don't use any redirect. instead use your main website as a launch page for your target site. you could show a big book cover on the main domain and lead the visitors to see the book site. doing this, you would have two website, no duplicate and both will be indexed.

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+1 for "don't use any redirect". –  Ilmari Karonen Sep 15 '12 at 20:11
    
I understand the distinction between 301 and 302, but what you're suggesting wouldn't work because the new author site won't have the opportunity to propagate to the search engines in time. Another idea I have is to have an intermediate (basically a temporary home page) on the old book site that asks the user if they are looking for information about the author or are you looking for information specific to her book and have links from there. –  Matt Helmick Sep 15 '12 at 20:13
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