As we are all aware, Google’s page experience update will be rolling out mid-June 2021. Google announced at Google I/O that the page experience update will be rolling out into desktop, if you missed this you can read this article.

In addition to the desktop page experience update, Google’s Product Manager, Jeffery Jose, announced that webmasters can take advantage of Google’s prefetching of website resources using signed exchanges to help improve core web vitals scores.

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What is Signed Exchange? 

SXG as referred to by Google, allows the tech giant to prefetch a website’s content while preserving the user’s privacy. This refers to Google’s accelerated mobile pages (AMP) and how both AMP and non-AMP Google results may prefetch a few key resources while preserving the user’s privacy if the website they click on supports SXG. 

In layman’s terms, when a user clicks on a search result, the web page will be loaded much sooner since some key resources are prefetched and readily available, resulting in a better user experience. Websites that implement SXG can lower their Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) score of its content. LCP is a metric that measures the loading time of the largest visual element on a website. The point of LCP is to provide a good user experience and it is one of the most significant aspects of Core Web Vitals. Although Google search does not consider SXG a direct factor of ranking, lowering the LCP score may affect ranking as page experience becomes a more significant ranking factor.

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(Image Source: The DigiZone)

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When will it be released?

Although Jose mentioned it will be released mid-June 2021, it was spotted by a Saijo George on tldr marketing.

“One other way you can get page performance for your users is taking advantage of prefetching on Google Search via the use of signed exchanges. Pages are prefetched and stored on the user’s browser, ready to be loaded when the user clicks on the result, leading to near instant loading,” – Jeffery Jose. 

Below is a slide taken from Jose’s presentation:

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Why should you care?

Since Google will be rolling out the Page Experience update fairly soon, companies that implement SXG on their websites have a better chance of ranking higher in the search results. The reason for this is that Core Web Vital scores will be better, which may affect rankings as page experience is considered a ranking factor. It is basically a circle and if one element of the circle is missing it will not lead to satisfactory results. If you missed out on the Page Experience update, read all about it here.

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