Google: HTTP/3 Doesn’t Impact SEO

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HTTP/3 doesn’t have a direct impact on SEO despite its faster performance, Google says.

Google Search Advocate John Mueller debunks a theory that the faster speed of HTTP/3 can directly impact a website’s SEO.

This topic is addressed during the November 2022 edition of Google’s SEO office-hours Q&A session.

Joined by the Google Search Relations team, Muller answers the following question:

Could the use of HTTP/3 improve SEO because it improves performance?

HTTP/3 offers performance benefits over HTTP/2 and HTTP/3. However, the performance gains are unlikely to make a difference regarding SEO.

Mueller On The SEO Impact Of HTTP/3

Mueller begins his response by stating Google doesn’t use HTTP/3 as a ranking factor or in web crawling:

“Google doesn’t use HTTP/3 as a factor in ranking at the moment. As far as I know, we don’t use it in crawling either.”

Google primarily uses HTTP/1 for web crawling. Googlebot supports HTTP/2 but only uses it when there’s a clear benefit over HTTP/1.

Support for HTTP/3 is likely a long way off. Websites that choose to adopt it early won’t see a direct improvement in search rankings, Mueller explains:

“In terms of performance, I suspect the gains users see from using HTTP/3 would not be enough to significantly affect the core web vitals, which are the metrics that we use in the page experience ranking factor. While making a faster server is always a good idea, I doubt you’d see a direct connection with SEO only from using HTTP/3. Similar to how you’d be hard pressed to finding a direct connection to using a faster kind of RAM in your servers.”

Mueller gave a similar response when asked about HTTP/3 in December 2021.

However, he suggested HTTP/3 could “potentially indirectly” affect core web vitals.

Mueller sounds more confident now in saying that there’s no impact.

Hear his response in the video below:

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