Google Search adds Signed Exchange (SXG) support for desktop results and creates a new opt-out meta tag

Signed Exchanges (SXG) is an open standard created by Google that allows non-AMP sites to be cached and served by Google for near-instant delivery. SXG was initially supported for mobile results, but will now also work for desktop search results. Sites wishing to disable SXG for desktop results will need to add a unique meta tag to their pages.

Signed exchanges (SXG) allow trusted third parties, like Google Search, to cache and serve web pages with the site’s domain. The goal of SXG is to dramatically improve site performance and provide near-instant page delivery to visitors without the need GPA.

the GPA alternative is more attractive and convenient for sites, but its adoption has been slowed by its complexity and limitation to mobile search results. Cloudflare solved the complexity problem by automating SXG for Google search, and now Google has announced that it will support SXG for its desktop search results.

Devin Mullinsa software engineer at Googlemade the announcement on Google Groups and tweeted about it. In addition to supporting SXG on desktop search results, Mullins provided details on how sites could opt out of Google using SXG on desktop or mobile results.

Google Search plans to launch SXG support for desktop users in the coming weeks.

Sites using responsive website or separate mobile/desktop URLs don’t need to act.

Sites using dynamic serve (varies by user agent header) will need to annotate their pages as mobile-only or desktop-only, like documented here. For example:

Otherwise, desktop users can see the mobile version of the page.

We address ourselves individually to SXG sites we found to use dynamic delivery, but wanted a general announcement in case there were any we missed.

If you have any questions, please ask them on the Google Search Central Help Community or the Webpackager Q&A Forum.

Devin Mullins via Webpackaging announcements on Google Groups

New supported-media meta tag is a draft proposal, but Google Search will soon implement it regardless. Google said that conventional methods for serving different HTML have “conflicts with caching by upstream intermediaries”, and this meta tag is the best method to use to SXG.

The “Supported Media” meta tag was created by Google to allow sites to instruct Google Search not to use SXG for their desktop or mobile pages.

No deadline has been set for when SXG support for desktop results will be going live in the near future. Besides, SXG only works in Chrome, Chrome variants like Edge and Opera. Safari and Firefox always does not support SXG.

Jon Henshaw

Jon is the founder of Coywolf and the IEC and senior reporting writer for Coywolf News. He is an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in digital marketing and internet technologies. To follow @henshaw

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