Serving HTTP version of site to those who don't support HTTP2

I'd like to move my client's site entirely to HTTPS in order to allow HTTP2 to work, however I was wondering is it ok (in the eyes of search engines) to serve older traffic (of which there is a lot and which would otherwise suffer a perf hit) that do not support HTTP2?

<strong>Is this dangerous to do from an SEO point of view?</strong> and

<strong>could you do the detection with tools like WURFL?</strong>

I want to stay current and offer improved perf/security to those on newer browsers but don't want those on older browsers in developing countries to suffer.

Answer1:

For what is worth, I did some tests a few weeks ago and I got the impression that Google's spiders don't see HTTP/2 yet. But as @sbordet pointed out the upgrade to HTTP/2 is optional, so just be sure to have a site that also responds to HTTP/1.1. Here are a few thoughts more:

    <li>Google's algorithms will penalize slower sites, but it is unlikely that you will take a big performance hit from using HTTPS in your servers.</li> <li>Using HTTPS can actually boost your SEO. Doesn't have anything to do with HTTP/2.</li> <li>Popular browsers that don't support HTTP/2: Safari and IE. Safari doesn't support any TLS crypto-suite compatible with HTTP/2, AFAIK. But that won't cause problems as long as you list HTTP/2-compatible suites first in your TLS server hello: ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 and ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384 are the ones I know of. Then you can list weaker suites.</li> </ul>

    Answer2:

    You don't need to serve different content depending on whether you use HTTP/2 or HTTP/1.1, as your question title may hint (sorry if I misunderstood).

    Also, just because you updated to HTTP/2, it does not mean that your server cannot serve HTTP/1.1 anymore.

    You can easily update to HTTP/2, and retain HTTP/1.1 support for older devices or networks that do not support or do not allow HTTP/2 traffic.

    Whether a client and a server can speak HTTP/2 is negotiated: only if the server detects that the client supports it, then it will use it, otherwise the server will fallback to HTTP/1.1. Therefore you don't risk to make your site unavailable for older browsers in developing countries.

    Then again, HTTP/2 implementations may vary, but typically they have to be prepared to clients that don't speak HTTP/2, and use HTTP/1.1 for those (because otherwise they won't be able to serve content and it will appear that the service is down).

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