For the past few years, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP feature has been heavily criticized by publishers as it doesn’t show the original URLs of site pages. As a solution, Google has announced that it will be rolling out Signed Exchanges support for AMP, enabling original page URLs to be displayed in the browser’s address bar.
AMP is an open source framework launched in 2015 that was specifically designed to speed up mobile web pages. According to Google, AMP speeds up a page’s loading time by balancing network constraints and the possibility of a user clicking on a search result via a device.
To date, thousands of web domains are using AMP to boost the loading time of billions of pages. However, the downside of using AMP is that it modifies how URLs are shown in the address bar of browsers which could significantly affect site traffic and revenue.
For instance, instead of seeing www.example.com, publishers and online users will see google.com/amp/www.example.com.
To correct AMP’s URL address issue, site owners can now use a new web feature called Signed Exchanges. The latter comes as a file format defined in the web packaging specification that will allow a browser to trust a document as if it is the original. Google developers explained in a blog post yesterday:
“Signed exchanges enable displaying the publisher’s domain when content is instantly loaded via Google Search. This is available in browsers that support the necessary web platform feature.”
At the moment, Signed Exchanges is only supported in Google Chrome browser. Publishers and site owners can implement the new feature by following the instructions indicated at the Serve AMP using Signed Exchanges guide found at amp.dev. Also, Cloudfare has announced just recently that it will be offering Signed Exchanges to its customers for free.