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Cloudflare is about to make millions of web pages a whole lot faster

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Cloudflare (opens in new tab) has announced that its customers will now be able to generate Signed Exchanges (SXG) for Google Search (opens in new tab) with just one click.

For those unfamiliar, Signed Exchanges is a new open web platform specification developed by Google to allow a cached version of a website to be verified much more quickly. This means that third parties such as Google from its search results page or news aggregators linking out to other sites will be able to deliver webpages even faster.

Website owners will see their sites load faster when linked to from a site supporting SXG but since many search engines (opens in new tab) use page load times in order to determine search results, they'll also see a nice SEO (opens in new tab) boost as well.

Signed Exchanges

A Signed Exchange makes it possible to authenticate the origin of a resource, independent of how it was delivered according to a new blog post (opens in new tab) from Cloudflare. Through this decoupling, a variety of use cases such as prefetching, offline internet experiences and service from third-party caches are all advanced in a secure and privacy-preserving manner.

One of the best aspects of Signed Exchanges is that they make content portable as content delivered via an SXG can easily be distributed by third parties while maintaining full assurance and attribution of its origin. Previously the only way for a site to use a third party to distribute its content while maintaining attribution was for the site to share its SSL certificates (opens in new tab) with the distributor.

Going forward, truly portable content will be able to be used for new use cases like fully offline experiences. Now though, the primary use cases of SXGs is to deliver faster user experiences by providing content in an easily cacheable format. Google Search will also cache and sometimes prefetch SXGs and as a result, sites that receive a large portion of their traffic from Google's search engine can benefit from this new open web platform specification.

Automatic Signed exchanges will be free for all Cloudflare Pro, Business and Enterprise customers as well as for those using the company's Advanced Platform Optimization product. Interested users can sign up to join the Automatic Signed Exchange beta waitlist (opens in new tab) today and once approved, activating SXGs just requires them to flip a single switch.

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.