The future is here: What is HTTP/2 and what it means for SEO?
Author: Sabir Ahmed for Inksplore
If there was one way to make your website load faster, use fewer resources and get a boost in your site rankings through just one simple change - that would be HTTP/2. As of October 2016, around 10% of the top ten million websites supported it. Being one of the greatest advancements in the past few years, HTTP/2 is all set to take the web world by storm.
What is HTTP/2?
When Google first created the SPDY protocol as an experiment to make communication between browsers and servers faster, little did it expect the results to be so promising. The HTTP protocol that was based largely on Google’s SPDY now has an advanced and much needed refresh – the HTTP/2. A replacement to the HTTP protocol that powers all web traffic these days, HTTP/2 is the latest update provided by IETF and opens up an endless array of possibilities that its predecessor could not.
With every major technological leap, the question of why it is needed has to be answered. Consider this analogy: imagine if all the modern day roads where built way back in the era of horse-driven carriages. Back then, horse’s speed was the limit, and today even with faster vehicles, traversing on the same roads isn’t about to get you anywhere faster. The same applies to internet protocols. The last update HTTP had was in 1999. Since then, the web world has changed tremendously and refusing to move on better tech will get us nowhere. This is why HTTP/2 is our new gateway to future web technology and can open up the doors to an array of opportunities.
A few of the major improvements are:
- Single connection to server
- Server push
- Uses binary
- Uses HPACK compressions
How will it affect SEO?
When a Google Spokesperson stated that GoogleBot will support HTTP/2, it should have stirred up quite a storm in the SEO world. However, that did not happen as most SEO companies have failed to realise the promising opportunities HTTP/2 can bring about.
A few SEO agencies have played their cards right and added support for HTTP/2 already which puts them at a greater advantage. Not only does the use of HTTP/2 decrease load time, a faster webpage is bound to climb up the ranking charts. Google’s announcement also indicates that it will likely be adding more UX indicators to algorithms or will add HTTP/2 as a ranking signal in the later part of the year. For SEO companies that are still stuck in the Middle Age of web tech, this move may create a considerable drop in their website rankings. It is better to be prepared, than sorry as most websites haven’t even updated to HTTPS yetin order to make the switch to HTTP/2.
SEO’s, developers, sales teams and everyone should be making the move to HTTP/2. There is no downside to upgrading, since a user can load a site like they always have if they cannot load it over HTTP/2. The upside is that it leaves room for better user experience and a faster website has been proven to increase sales rates and conversions.
Get in touch with (Inksplore) - the best search engine optimisation agency that can help you set up HTTP/2. The future of SEO is here! Are you going to make the switch?