In today’s SEO landscape, website performance plays a crucial role in user experience and search rankings. This article explores the critical connection between HTTPS, HTTP/2, and SEO, providing valuable insights for website owners and SEO professionals.

HTTPS: A Ranking Factor and Security Essential

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) encrypts communication between a website and its visitors. While not directly impacting performance optimization, HTTPS is a mandatory requirement for enabling the faster HTTP/2 protocol. Additionally, Google has heavily advocated for HTTPS adoption, with statistics suggesting over 60% of top-ranking pages already utilizing it.

Google’s Signals: Ranking Boost and Security Warnings

Google’s stance on HTTPS is clear. They’ve hinted at it being a ranking factor, potentially offering a slight SEO boost to secure websites. Furthermore, Google Chrome now flags all HTTP URLs as “not secure,” potentially deterring users and impacting conversions. In the future, Google might even prioritize HTTPS websites in search results.

Easy Implementation and Minimal SEO Disruption

The good news is that implementing HTTPS is relatively straightforward. The migration process, from an SEO perspective, shouldn’t cause significant ranking losses if done correctly. Following best practices ensures a smooth transition.

The Need for HTTP/2: Speed Optimization After HTTPS

While HTTPS provides security, it can introduce a slight performance overhead due to encryption processes. This is where HTTP/2 comes in. However, to fully benefit from HTTP/2’s speed advantages, it’s crucial to implement it alongside HTTPS.

HTTP/2: Faster Performance Through Streamlining

HTTP/2 utilizes streams instead of single requests, allowing for parallel transfer of multiple files (CSS, JS) with varying priorities. Additionally, features like server push further enhance performance.

Optimizing for HTTP/2: New Best Practices

With HTTP/2, some traditional performance optimization techniques require reevaluation. Techniques like CSS sprites and domain sharding are less relevant due to HTTP/2’s efficient stream-based approach.

Googlebot Crawling: Still Using HTTP/1.1 (for Now)

It’s important to note that Googlebot, the search engine crawler, currently uses the older HTTP/1.1 protocol. However, with built-in fallback mechanisms in HTTP/2, this shouldn’t negatively impact SEO.

Conclusion: Embrace HTTPS and HTTP/2 for a Secure and SEO-Friendly Website

If you haven’t already, prioritize switching to HTTPS and implementing HTTP/2 simultaneously. This ensures a secure and performant website, sending positive signals to search engines and users alike. For websites already on HTTPS, verify that HTTP/2 is active to maximize performance benefits. By embracing these technologies, you’ll create a future-proof website that excels in both security and SEO.

Krishnaprasath Krishnamoorthy

Meet Krishnaprasath Krishnamoorthy, an SEO specialist with a passion for helping businesses improve their online visibility and reach.¬† From Technical, on-page, off-page, and Local SEO optimization to link building and beyond, I have expertise in all areas of SEO and I’m dedicated to providing actionable advice and results-driven strategies to help businesses achieve their goals. WhatsApp or call me on +94 775 696 867