Google created an open standard called Signed Exchanges (SXG) to enable trusted third parties to cache and serve web pages. The functionality is similar to how Google Search caches AMP pages, but with SXG, AMP isn’t required.
SXG is appealing to SEOs because having Google Search cache their site’s pages can dramatically improve site performance. Katie Hempenius, Software Engineer at Google, states on web.dev that “implementing SXGs can improve Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).”
Even though SXG can significantly improve page delivery and performance via Google Search, the open standard has had a slow adoption rate because it’s complex to implement.
On Tuesday, September 14, 2021, during Cloudflare’s Speed Week, they announced one-click support for SXG on Google Search. The new service automates SXG for sites using Cloudflare using the following process.
Once SXG is activated, Google Search can start indexing, caching, and serving pages to browsers with attribution to the original URL (your site).
SXG is currently supported by Chrome, Edge, and Opera, while Firefox and Safari do not support it. The lack of support by Firefox and Safari means that pages will be delivered from Cloudflare’s Edge instead of Google’s cache.
The new feature is only available to paid plans. Automated SXG will likely incentivize many SEOs and site owners to upgrade from the Free plan to the Pro plan, which is $20/mo. Cloudflare customers with paid plans can find the new SXG feature in the Speed section of their site’s dashboard.