Google: HTTP/3 does not affect SEO

HTTP/3 has no direct impact on SEO despite faster performance, says Google.

Google search attorney John Mueller debunks a theory that the faster speed of HTTP/3 can directly affect a site’s SEO.

This topic is addressed during the November 2022 edition of Google’s SEO Office Hours Q&A session.

Together with the Google Search Relations team, Muller answers the following questions:

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

HTTP/3 offers performance advantages over HTTP/2 and HTTP/3. However, the performance gains are unlikely to make a difference when it comes to SEO.

Mueller On The SEO Impact Of HTTP/3

Mueller begins his response by saying that Google does not use HTTP/3 as a ranking factor or in web crawling:

“Google does not currently use HTTP/3 as a ranking factor. 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 is a clear advantage over HTTP/1.

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

“In terms of performance, I suspect that the gains users see from using HTTP/3 will not be enough to significantly impact the most important web metrics, which are the metrics we use in the page experience ranking factor. While it’s always a good idea to create a faster server, I doubt you’d see a direct connection with SEO just using HTTP/3, just like how you’d be hard-pressed to find a direct connection to using a faster type of RAM on your servers. “

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

However, he suggested that HTTP/3 could “potentially indirectly” affect the vital functions of the core network.

I don’t think we crawl with http/3, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see positive effects for users (and with that, potentially indirectly important web vitals).

— John Mueller is mostly not here 🐀 (@JohnMu) December 6, 2021

Mueller sounds more confident now when he says there is no impact.

Hear his response in the video below:

Featured Image: SteafPong88/Shutterstock

Matt G. Southern

Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, …

Subscribe to SEJ

Get our daily newsletter from SEJ founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!