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Nov142018

Google Developer Previews Signed HTTP Exchanges to Show Publishers Domain in Search Results

Google has been on work to bring a solution to show AMP users and publishers own domain names anywhere their AMP pages are displayed including Google Search.

The technology called Signed HTTP Exchanges was first demonstrated earlier this year at the Google I/O. But it has published the first preview on Tuesday.

The Signed Exchanges currently only supports Chrome version 71 or higher.

With Signed Exchanges all, cached AMP URLs are transformed into the publisher domain on any AMP Cache.

“When a browser sees a Signed Exchange and can validate the signature, the browser can display the publisher’s URL, regardless of where the file was delivered from.”

After a user clicks on the AMP links in search results, Google will now display the publisher’s URL instead of showing the Google cache AMP URL.

Here is a GIF that shows how this will work in Chrome 71 or higher:

Google Search demonstration Signed HTTP Exchanges

Signed Exchanges are part of a wider web proposal named Web Packaging. As Google explained, “it is an HTTP Request / Response pair, cryptographically signed using a publisher’s own Certificate Private Key.”

In other words, “Signed Exchanges provide digital proof to a browser that the document delivered by an AMP Cache has not been modified from what the publisher intended.”

To see Signed Exchanges in action on Google Search, publishers need to follow the steps below:

  • First, make sure to install Chrome version 71 or higher.
  • Next, enable mobile emulation in the browser, If a mobile device is not in use.
  • Next, visit https://g.co/webpackagedemo.
  • A search box will open up, from there, enter a query like [learn amp by exaple] and then click “Learn AMP by Example” option. This will take you to ampbyexample.com home page, Google notes, because only a few publishers have currently used this feature so far, make sure to enter the above specific query only.

After successfully completing above steps the browser’s URL bar will show “https://ampbyexample.com” as the landing URL

“The AMP Cache has preloaded the AMP document and Chrome has cryptographically verified that the AMP document was never modified from what the publisher intended, thus enabling the publisher’s URL to be the one that populates the browser address bar,” Google explained.

Publishers interested in building Signed Exchanges have two options to deploy it.

First, the AMP Packager open source tool that runs own their infrastructure as a web server backend.

Once deployed, the tool acts as a proxy and accepts an HTTP request for an AMP Web Package, and forwards it to publisher’s backend before transforming it into a Signed Exchange.

The AMP Packager also optimize the page for serving on an AMP Cache.

Google notes, after it’s installed, a Google Search crawler will take few days to crawl the site.

After, the crawler revisits the site, experience it through the Google Search Demo instructions above.

Check out more about AMP Packager tool here.

Here is an overview diagram of the AMP Packager tool:

Google AMP Packager Diagram

As part of the second option, a developer can use a Signed Exchange–Enabled CDN.

Google notes, as of now, only Cloudflare has an experimental “Cloudflare Worker” application that supports the implementation of Signed Exchanges.

For more information on Web Packaging and how to enable Signed Exchanges on Cloudflare, head over here.

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