Google Fixing Bug With Search Not Prefetching, Caching & Serving SXG (Signed Exchange)

Google confirmed last week that it is working on a fix with SXG, signed exchanges, and not working correctly in search. Specifically, Google serves them in Google Search as normal HTML pages, not as signed exchanges. Google’s John Mueller said this is not causing any issues with traffic from Google Search to SXG but rather, Google is not pre-fetching, caching, and serving these pages faster than a normal HTML page.

This first was reported via Richard Hearne and then Omer Rachamim confirmed the issue on his end too:

John Mueller of Google then confirmed the issue saying “this is a known bug and we’re working on rolling out a fix (likely after the holidays though); in the meantime you don’t need to worry – your webpages will still show up on Search normally as if they were non-SXG.”

Some reported traffic drops but maybe that is not the case, maybe it is just how the reporting works? Omer said he did not notice any traffic issues:

Earlier this year, Google Search brought signed exchanges support to desktop – it went live in July. Signed exchanges (SXG) allow Google Search to prefetch your content while preserving the user’s privacy. In practice, this means that both AMP and non-AMP results shown on Google Search may prefetch a few key resources (such as HTML, JavaScript, CSS, images, or fonts) in a privacy-preserving manner, if the associated website supports SXG.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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