"Content developers sometimes create pages that refresh or change without the user requesting the refresh. This automatic refresh can be very disorienting to some users. Instead, in order of preference, authors should:
Configure the server to use the appropriate HTTP status code (301). Using HTTP headers is preferable because it reduces Internet traffic and download times, it may be applied to non-HTML documents, and it may be used by agents who requested only a HEAD request (e.g., link checkers). Also, status codes of the 30x type provide information such as "moved permanently" or "moved temporarily" that cannot be given with META refresh.
Note. Both checkpoint 7.4 and checkpoint 7.5 address problems posed by legacy user agents. Newer user agents should disable refresh and substitute a link to new information at the top of the page." 
Copyright © 2001-2003 by Rainer Hillebrand and Thomas Wierlemann