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What is HTTP/HTTPS/HTTP2 and their relation with SEO?

A lot has changed and is still changing about the internet. Google and other search engines are constantly making updates in the modalities in which websites are ranked on search engine results. Website owners are forced to always be on the lookout for new changes and updates and this is why it is good to understand what is HTTP/HTTPS/HTTP2 and their relation with SEO. Today, we even have updates such as the HTTPS and the HTTP2 all adding to contribute to the experience of users on a particular website. Here, we will be looking at how each of these areas affects a website’s SEO, but first, let’s be clear on what each of them means.

Definition of terms

HTTP: HTTP is an abbreviation for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and it is used to refer to an application protocol that currently serves as the foundation on which data communication for the World Wide Web is built. In simpler terms, it refers to a protocol that is used by clients (web browsers) to request information from web servers.

HTTPS: HTTPS, on the other hand, is a way in which the HTTP can be encrypted. Its basic job is to wrap up HTTP messages with SSL/TLS into a format that’s encrypted. Since the invention of HTTPS, the web has continuously moved towards it, and today web browsers and search engines are beginning to put more warnings to users of websites that are served over HTTP that is not encrypted. Unless there a special reason, we will advise that you use HTTPS on any website you are creating.

HTTP2: In 2015, HTTP2 was released as an updated version of Internet’s most useful protocol, HTTP. Some of the major reasons why HTTP2 was developed include:

  • Page load speed improvements
  • Protocol negotiation mechanism
  • High-level compatibility
  • A request of multiplexing over a single TCP connection
  • HOL blocking.

Now that we are clear with the definition of terms let’s switch to what each of these means for SEO

Does HTTP, HTTPS, and HTTP2 affect your SEO?

Of course, each of these protocols, as with most other modern website improvements, affects SEO and the way pages are ranked greatly. Although Google doesn’t factor HTTP2 readiness into its algorithm, we’ve learned that it rewards sites based on how sleek the user experience they provide is. Sleek user experience included page load speed, so it is safe to say that the move to HTTP2 will positively affect the SEO performance of a site.

HTTPS, as we explained earlier, is the way to keep your web protocol secured. Internet users prefer to keep their information private, and most of them will naturally prefer websites to pay importance to their privacy. Hence, it is no brainer that each of these protocols has a direct impact on SEO.

Are SEO companies in support of these?

We were not surprised to see that quite a lot of SEO companies have added support for HTTP2. Many of these companies think that better user experience and increased load speed would help in SEO.

There you have it. So much has been talked about all the updates going on in the World Wide Web, but those that improve user experience seem to be taking the most significant part of the pie when it comes to SEO. We expect an upgrade to HTTP3, but until then, HTTP2 is doing quite enough to help web users enjoy their time on the internet.

Mathias Aaftink

Author Mathias Aaftink

Geïntrigeerd door klantgedrag, performance marketing en klantervaring en de manier waarop organisaties daarop inspelen. Met mijn ervaring voel ik me thuis in de wereld van (digitale) marketing en branding. Ik ga nieuwe uitdagingen met veel plezier aan en voel meteen een groot verantwoordelijkheidsgevoel om er een succes van te maken. Projecten waarbij ik mijn ondernemende vaardigheden en mindset kan inzetten geven mij veel energie en dit is waar ik voor u van toegevoegde waarde kan zijn.

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