There has been quite a lot of discussion on when to make use of rel=canonical and when Re directions. This post will focus on the two main methods of managing the redirection and rel=”canonical” attribute.
First lets see Redirections.
There are 2 types Re directions. 301 for Permanent and 302 for Temporary move. Now how does this works. Lets say, you moving your domain from ABC.com to XYZ.com for permanent. Then in this case you will use 301 which will tell search engines that you have moved your address permanently. In this case the Redirection code would be 301. And when used 301, search engines also pass credit of the old domain to the new one. So you don’t have to take efforts from start for doing SEO for the new domain.
Second Senario: You are moving your domain from abc.com to xyz.com. But say you are moving it for a limited period. Then in this case you would be using a 302 Redirection.
So the above scenario tells you that redirections are mainly used when moving domains or pages from one to another.
Now lets see Canonical Links
Lets say you have a product page on your website and this page gets multiple versions or content (Duplicate pages with different URL’s) then in this case Canonical tag helps search engines to understand which version of the page should get indexed and which not. So in this case search engines will keep the others available pages for people to see, but will not include them in their index and please pass credit to the preferred page.
Article Credit: Rohit Shelwante