pagespeed insights and http/2

Pagespeed Insights and HTTP/2

Pagespeed Insights and HTTP/2 – In this article I am writing about the recent support of the HTTP/2 protocol by Pagespeed Insights.

You will learn what Pagespeed Insights and HTTP/2 are, why the HTTP/2 protocol is important and what this change means for your website.

If you need help with your SEO, make sure you get in touch.

What is HTTP/2?

It’s a protocol extending the original functionalities of HTTP 1.1.

What is HTTP/1?

It’s the original protocol created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991 to manage data communication.

The protocol was updated from HTTP/1 to HTTP/1.1 in 1997.

What is a Protocol?

It’s a set of rules regulating the communication between clients (eg web browsers) and servers.

What Are the Main Features of HTTP/2?

Why the rest of the internet had evolved dramatically, the HTTP/1.1 protocol had been pretty much unchanged since 1997.

One of the main points addressed by the new protocol is the managing of multiple outstanding TCP requests.

Some other features are:

  • Faster encryption
  • Multi-host multiplexing
  • Header compression to improve both performance and security
  • Improved stream prioritisation

Why is HTTP/2 Important for My Website?

The new protocol is important because:

  • It improves the performance (= page load speed) of your website overall
  • It’s particularly geared towards optimising your website’s mobile performance
  • It optimises the uses of resources on your network
  • It improves the security of data communications

As a result of Google’s Core Web Vitals becoming a ranking factor in May 2021, it will also improve your SEO efforts.

What is Pagespeed Insights?

It’s a tool by Google that ‘reports on the performance of a page on both mobile and desktop devices, and provides suggestions on how that page may be improved’.

Pagespeed Insights and HTTP/2

In a recent post, Google developers confirmed that as of March 3rd, 2021 the Pagespeed Insights tool will use the HTTP/2 protocol to make network requests:

With this improvement, you can expect more similarity between Lighthouse results from PSI and from Lighthouse CLI and DevTools (which have always made requests with h2)

What Does This Mean in Practice?

As Google developers wrote:

 In general, performance scores across all PageSpeed Insights runs went up by a few points.

If your page does not support h2, the report will now show an audit that estimates the performance improvement if the page were to support h2


Featured image by Lars Kienle on Unsplash


About Pasquale Mellone

Pasquale is Founder at, a digital strategy agency based in Dublin, Ireland; and Co-Founder at luxury ecommerce marketplace Pasquale has +15 years of experience in Digital Marketing and Account Management. He currently lives in Dublin with his wife, stepdaughter and cat.

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