Google now is scanning and indexing pages for search that use HTTP/2 (commonly seen as HTTP2), a change that can benefit businesses that have transitioned to the latest network protocol

HTTP2 is the latest network protocol for websites. It’s better than past network protocols as it allows for faster and more efficient transfer of data between a server and a browser, something that helps both visitors to your site and bots scanning your web pages to rank in searches.

Google announced in late 2020 that it now can download pages using HTTP2. That’s good news for sites that have shifted to HTTP2, and makes it important for site owners to check if your site is eligible.

As of August 2020, about 49% of all websites worldwide use HTTP/2.

The Development of HTTP/2

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. It is how computers and network servers communicate, with HTTP requests and HTTP responses sent back and forth.

HTTP/2 reduces the amount of time it takes to deliver a web page from a browser to a server. HTTP/2 also reduces overhead by compressing HTTP header fields, according to Search Engine Journal. That’s key because transmitting information on dozens of assets on a page can take a long time.

The HTTP2 protocol derives from an earlier, experimental protocol called SPDY created by Google. HTTP/2 is the first new version of HTTP since HTTP1.1,which became standardized in 1997.

Most of the major browsers added HTTP2 by the end of 2015, including Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11, Safari, Amazon Silk, and Edge.

HTTP/2 vs. HTTP/1.1

HTTP2 allows for faster transmission between servers and computers because “multiple resources can be downloaded within one stream from one connection instead of having to request multiple streams from multiple connections to download the same web page,” according to Search Engine Journal.

HTTP 1 requires the downloading of multiple streams in parallel because it can handle only one request at the time.

HTTP2 helps websites with potential customers because people can download pages faster. It also allows Googlebot to scan your pages faster and index them into the Google search engine.

The use of HTTP2 means less congestion on servers, keeping sites from slowing down when too many requests are coming in at once. Site owners will want to check their sites to ensure they are compliant with HTTP2. If not, they can opt out of HTTP2 crawling, although in the long run you will want to take advantage of the benefits and make your site HTTP2compliant.