HTTP2 SEO :
A significant evolution, and logical development, for the web

HTTP/2 SEO will significantly improve how users navigate websites. In this article we will show how HTTP/2 will become a major factor in optimizing SEO results. Basically, the faster a website loads, the better the user experience is.
In this article you will discover what the http/2 protocol is, its benefits and implications, where it comes from, as well as the reasons for the update, which is the first new version of the network protocol since http/1.
You will also learn how http/2 can optimize your website speed, as well as your results, according to John Mueller, web analyst at Google Switzerland.

What is HTTP/2?

HTTP/2 is a new version of the HTTP protocol. Now considered the future of the Web, it is an improvement on the original protocol http that has been used for the past twenty years.
This recent technological advancement was developed by Google, using the SPDY protocol, in order to:

  • Maximize the security of Internet data exchange.
  • Increase the level of security of Internet exchanges.
  • Ensure maximum security for Internet data exchanges.

 

What are the benefits to using HTTP/2?

The new protocol provides for greater speed and efficiency in loading web pages, as well as greater security.
HTTP/2 requires fewer requests to a server, which will directly reduce the impact of “overloading.”
Some advantages of http/2 are:

  • Multiplexing of requests to the server by running multiple data along a single transmission path.
  • Optimization of the SSL handshake by sending referenced resources from the server to the browser.
  • Conservation of the same APIs.
  • Compression of requests and responses.
  • Lower weight cost of requests.
  • Easier encryption of exchanges.

 

Implications for SEO

Website loading speed is a factor taken into account by Google in its ranking algorithm. When a site loads normally, speed becomes a factor among several others that don’t really affect a website’s ranking. But when a site takes too long to load content, slow speed can lead to a heavy penalty.
In fact, GoogleBot will now be able to manage the exchange of data on the Internet with greater security, as well as with greater speed and efficiency, in order to create a much better user experience when navigating a website.
HTTP/2 will make it possible for websites to load faster, including mobile versions. Interruptions in website loading will be minimized. And all HTTP/1.1 versions will be compatible HTTP/2. When it comes to SEO, these developments will not affect URLs and modified elements will be only better.

 

HTTP/1 vs HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is 35% faster!

 

 

Google Hangout Video

In this video from Google, presented by the engineer John Mueller, you’ll discover some interesting points about http/2. Because the video is a little long, you’ll find a transcript of the key questions and answers below.
English Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout

 

 

Questions / Réponses

Question 1 – Ranking:
“Is it true that if a page hasn’t been crawled recently, it won’t rank well or will be given less authority? Also, is there any advantage to resubmitting your sitemap weekly or more often?”
John Mueller :
“In general, we try to do our crawling based on what we think this page might change or how often it will be changing.”
He adds : “And in addition, most CMS systems automatically submit a sitemap file whenever you make any changes. So you definitely don’t need to do that manually.”

Question 2 – Page crawling and indexing:
“Are there any crawling indexing limitations when moving from HTTP1 to HTTP2?”
John Mueller :
“For now, Googlebot doesn’t support HTTP2—only crawling.
So if your website is only accessible via HTTP2, that’s the newest version of HTTP, then we won’t be able to crawl that properly.”
He adds : “One of the big advantages of HTTP2 is that you can bundle requests.”

Question 3 – Loading new pages:
“When a domain change takes place, with the right 301 redirects and Webmaster Tools, as well as a properly set up change of address, how long does it usually take for the new pages to appear instead of the old ones?”
John Mueller :
“It can take a few hours, or up to a day or more, after you’ve set everything up. It can happen fairly quickly, actually.”

Question 4 – Measuring speed:
“How does Google measure bandwidth speed?”
John Mueller :
“While speed is something we do take into account, it’s not something that would be a critical ranking factor. If we have equivalent pages, and we see one is significantly slower, then that’s something we will take into account.”
He adds : “So for indexing, we don’t just look at the HTML. We try to actually look at what the page looks like in a browser.
In general, our guidelines are to try to look at which pages are actually relevant for the user instead of looking at which pages are implementing any kind of specific technical markup, for example. So that goes with regards to HTML.
If a page is valid HTML, then obviously that’s a good thing. In most cases, though, a user isn’t really going to notice if it’s valid HTML or not. So we’re not going to use that as a ranking factor.”

Question 5 – Rich snippets :
“Rich snippets help in Google rankings because it’s easy for Google to understand the structure of the web.”
John Mueller :
“We do use rich snippets in structured markup to better understand the page, but your site isn’t going to rank higher just because it has structured markup.”

Question 6 – Duplicate content by domain:
“If Google sees a link between two sites, for example, two affiliates who have the same manufacturer, but are separate entities with their own content, will you rank both of these sites? Or do you choose one over the other?”
John Mueller :
“Maybe, maybe not. Regardless of whether there’s an affiliate relationship there or not, if we can see that there is unique and valuable content, we’ll try to show it separately in the search results.”

Question 7 – Internal duplicate content::
“If an e-commerce site had pages with similar content except for, say, the color and thus has similar URLs—for example, one product can come in red and also in blue— and this were the case for 500 products, with 5 to 40 different variations, could this cause a penalty?”
John Mueller :
“No, well, I guess it could cause a penalty if the content is really spammy and problematic. But in general, if this is null content for an e-commerce website, then no this kind of duplication would not cause a penalty. We don’t have a duplicate content penalty in that sense. What will probably happen is we’ll fold some of these pages together for indexing and show then the search results as one URL instead of all these different variations. But essentially, that’s more of a technical issue and not something that would negatively affect your website.”

Question 8 – PageRank :
“Should we still use PageRank as a benchmark? Is that how Google values a page?”
John Mueller :
“I would focus on other metrics, and you know your site best. You know best what you want people to do— what you think is a good thing to do for your site. That could be something like tracking the conversion, that kind of thing. But PageRank is definitely not one of those metrics.”

Question 9 – Ranking factors :
“User engagement as a ranking factor is a rising topic. How can it be a reliable ranking factor if there are so many different types of search purposes?”
John Mueller :
“We do take into account how people react to the search results when we refine our algorithm. There are things like different intents, people searching for the same thing, but trying to find something completely different.”

Question 10 – Ranking problems:
“My site has been ranked at the bottom of page 2 for some time now, and nothing I do can make it go up. How can I find out what the issue is?”
John Mueller :
“If you’ve been building links in a way that would be seen as against our webmaster guidelines, that might be something that you’d want to clean up and resolve. Instead of just focusing on links, I’d focus more on the actual content and the value that you’re providing to the visitors to your website.”
 

Conclusion

As John Mueller points out in his talk, there are no disadvantages to HTTP2. Even installation and set up only require your facility agreement. Since its main goal is to speed up web page loading time, Protocol HTTP/2 will require far fewer connections which obviously will lighten the load on servers and networks.

The high performance level of HTTP/2 will render the work done at Web-related industries, as well as all the work done at organizations working with the Web, more efficient.
Why a faster website is important:

  • It reduces the risk of users will leaving your site quickly without finding what they were looking for.
  • It lowers shopping cart abandonment rate.
  • It increases the number of page views.
  • It increases your conversion rate.
  • It increases user retention rate.

Now you better understand http/2, its advantages, what is involved, as well as its benefits for your users and your website ranking.
There is therefore no reason not to adopt Protocol http/2 for your website!
If you would like to explore the potential of http/2 for your organization please contact us.

Sources :
Cloudfare

Search engine

Google Hangout

Posted 23/12/2015

About the author

Audrey Lemarec