How Will HTTP2 Affect SEO?
By Bob Fine
HTTP2 is an upgrade, and a much-needed one, to HTTP. It will allow servers and browsers to communicate better, and that will reduce load times for your favorite websites. By removing most of the redundancy within headers, HTTP2 allows for the request of multiple files at once, which is also known as multiplexing. Over half of all websites currently load 75+ files, so multiplexing is definitely helpful to modern websites.
But how will HTTP2 affect SEO in particular?
The Benefits of HTTP2
There are many ways in which websites will be affected by HTTP2, but many of these changes will be beneficial. Again, sites will be able to load more quickly, particularly once a user has updated his or her browser to support HTTP2 and servers have HTTP2 enabled. Sites that already utilize HTTPS will find it very easy to enable HTTP2.
Aspects like image sprites and domain sharing won’t be as necessary either in order to reduce the amount of requests from a server once HTTP2 is implemented. Also, because headers will be compressed in HTTP2, it will be more mobile friendly, with mobile sites wasting fewer bytes. And finally, HTTP2 will be backwards compatible. This means that browsers and servers that stay on HTTP1.1 will be compatible with HTTP2 browsers and servers.
How SEO Will Be Impacted
Google announced that it would support HTTP2, which means that the company is likely going to be adding more UX (user experience) indicators to its algorithms or adding HTTP2 as a ranking signal. Despite this however, only a few SEO companies have actually added any support for HTTP2.
Maybe SEO companies are taking their time with implementing HTTP2 because of some of its drawbacks. For example, individuals using older versions of web browsers, and businesses with complex, large websites that are currently on older systems will not be able to switch to HTTP2 for a few years.
Also, if a website is not already using HTTPS, it will be even harder to move to HTTP2. And because HTTP2 is so new, only a few studies have actually been done to figure out potential pitfalls and establish best practices. There will be a lot of trial and error within the first few years of sites implementing it, so SEO experts may be waiting to see what happens.
Work With SEO Professionals
For the latest in all areas SEO, you should hire a professional SEO company to help you with your website, as this will ensure you are able to keep your site up-to-date with the newest protocols at all times. Overall, HTTP2 is meant to help your website load more quickly, but it currently doesn’t seem like pros such as those at this New York SEO agency are too worried about it creating more work for them.
The Internet is always changing in order to improve. If you have a website, be aware of what HTTP2 has to offer, as well as its potential drawbacks, so that you can ensure your site remains fast and modern.