Whenever you visit any site, you get to see the website address which is prefixed by ‘HTTP,’ right. For example, http//curvearro.com. Every digital marketer would know that HTTP or HyperText Transfer Protocol (1989) is the crucial element of World Wide Web. It allows your web browsers such as Google Chrome, Browser, Firefox, Apple Safari, or Internet Explorer to communicate with the server where any given website is hosted. Basically, it exchanges information between a client computer and a local web server just to access different website. At present, Googlebot crawls websites over HTTP/1 but the good news is that recently Google announced that it will start crawling sites over HTTP/2.
Do you want to know the impact of this update on your site? And from which month Googlebot will crawl sites over HTTP/2? To know everything just read the article till the end. I will enlist every minute detail of the update in this article.
Let’s jump in.
Googlebot to support crawling over HTTP/2 sites from November 2020
Yesterday, Google made an announcement stating that from November 2020 onwards, it may begin to crawl some sites over HTTP/2. In the official announcement, Google writes, “today we’re announcing that starting mid November 2020, Googlebot will support crawling over HTTP/2 for select sites.”
At present, Googlebot cannot handle HTTP/2 sites that’s why Google is preparing Googlebot to support HTTP/2 sites as well.
Let’s move ahead little further and know about HTTP/2.
What is HTTP/2?
HTTP/2 is a new improved version of HTTP 1.1 web protocol. It is much more robust, efficient, and faster than its predecessor because of the features it brought for its clients. According to IETF, HTTP/2 enables a more efficient use of network resources and a reduced perception of latency by introducing header field compression and allowing multiple concurrent exchanges on the same connection.
Want to know why Google is taking such steps to crawl sites over HHTP/2? If yes continue read the next section below.
What’s enabling Google to crawl over HTTP/2?
This is very simple guys, HTPP/2 is simple and more efficient and this is the reason Google is taking these steps.
Google states, “We expect this change to make crawling more efficient in terms of server resource usage.” Why? In short, it requires opening less TCP connections; Google said “Googlebot is able to open a single TCP connection to the server and efficiently transfer multiple files over it in parallel, instead of requiring multiple connections. The fewer connections open, the fewer resources the server and Googlebot have to spend on crawling.”
After reading the Google’s statement, you can see that HTTP/2 is more efficient than HTTP/HTTP 1.1. Read another person’s statement from Google on http/2.
Ilyk Grigorik from Google says, “HTTP/2 will make our applications faster, simpler, and more robust — a rare combination — by allowing us to undo many of the HTTP/1.1 workarounds previously done within our applications and address these concerns within the transport layer itself. Even better, it also opens up a number of entirely new opportunities to optimize our applications and improve performance.”
Let’s understand the crawling process of Googlebot over HTTP/2.
The Crawling Process of Googlebot over HTTP/2
The process will begin by taking small number of sites over HTTP/2. Google says that they will ramp up gradually to more sites that may benefit from their initial supported features such as request multiplexing.
How Googlebot will decide to crawl your site? Googlebot decides which site to crawl over h2 based on whether the site supports h2, and whether the site and Googlebot would benefit from crawling over HTTP/2. If your server supports h2 and Googlebot already crawls a lot from your site, you may be already eligible for the connection upgrade, and you don’t have to do anything.
Google says that if your server supports HTTP/2 and Googlebot already crawls a lot from your site, you may be already eligible for the connection upgrade, and you don’t have to do anything.
What if your site doesn’t support HTTP/2?
This will be a question of many, right. But Google has answer to all your queries. Google says, “If your server still only talks HTTP/1.1, that’s also fine,” Google said there is “no explicit drawback for crawling over this protocol; crawling will remain the same, quality and quantity-wise.”
So guys, if your site doesn’t support HTTP/2 you should not be worry about it because the crawling process will remain the same.
Will you get any ranking benefit by crawling over HTTP/2?
This is the most important question, right. Who doesn’t crave for getting highest rank on Google? Almost everyone. But let me tell you crawling over HTTP/2 don’t give you any ranking benefit. Google has said that there is no ranking benefit to HTTP/2. If Google crawls using HTTP/1.1 or HTTP/2, there is no direct ranking benefit to that.
In the next section, you will read the benefits that you get from HTTP/2 crawling.
What benefits webmasters can enjoy with HTTP/2 crawling?
Google enlists three benefits of crawling over HTTP/2. Just have a look at the benefits given below:
- HTTP/2 will need less TCP connection means fewer resources spent.
- It will reduce HTTP header size that will save resource.
- You will also see server push which is still in evolution phase.
These three benefits will enhance the performance of your site.
How did you find this update? No doubt, the update is beneficial for webmasters. If your site doesn’t support HTTP/2 then don’t force Google to crawl over it. But Google says you can opt out for now by responding with a 421 HTTP status code. Moreover, you will get notification in Google Search Console when it will switch to HTTP/2 crawling. Guys, the crawling over HTTP/2 will start in November this year, till then wait for it and enhance the performance of your site.
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