RebelMouse Talk to Us
Improve Your Site’s Load Time: Google Launches Signed Exchanges for Desktop

There’s been an important launch from Google that can help improve your site’s load time — signed exchanges (SXG) are now available on desktop. According to Google, SXG is a delivery mechanism that can help improve your Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) score by enabling privacy-preserving, cross-origin prefetch.

What’s an LCP score? The LCP metric is one of Google’s Core Web Vitals that determines your site’s performance. A page’s LCP score is determined by how long it takes Google to load the "above the fold" content of your site. This includes all content in the first viewport of a page, such as images, fonts, ads, and embeds. Click here to learn more.

Since SXG uses a cache to prefetch content that has been cryptographically signed by the origin, it helps speed up cross-origin navigations from referrer sites while also ensuring that pages remain unaltered and properly attributed, according to Google. To put it more simply, in certain browsers, the referrer site (Google) and destination site (your page) share cached information which increases your site’s ability to load quickly.


illustration of how signed exchanges work in compatible browsers, where the referrer site and destination site utilize a cache to improve site load time From Google.

Previously, SXG was only available for Android users. The latest update means that SXG will now be available for desktop cross-origin navigations in Chromium browsers. Google Search will now support SXG from Top Stories and Google News, in addition to server-side personalization.

Read Google’s full announcement for more information.

Sound Like Greek to You? Why You Should Care About Signed Exchanges

If you aren’t a developer or an engineer, it can be difficult to wrap your head around the idea of signed exchanges. But it’s important to become familiar with this feature because it can dramatically improve your site’s performance and usability. Google said that the latest update will double the SXG coverage of visits to your site, which means more users will experience improved load time if you take advantage of the feature.

To get even more technical, this means that sites that implement SXG can experience between 300 and 400 milliseconds of LCP reduction on average from search traffic. Google wants LCP to happen within 2.5 seconds of when a page first starts loading.

We recently ran a pilot test on SXG with some of our clients at RebelMouse, and the outcome was impressive. For the three sites in our pilot, we compared Android-device traffic in the 30-day period before and after SXG was implemented. The results were fantastic for all three participants, and resulted in a reduction of average page download time by over 97% for each site!

The pilot was so successful that it even caught Google’s attention. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top metrics from the case study that were recently highlighted by Google in their latest SXG announcement:

Click here to read more about our performance case studies on SXG.

How to Start Using Signed Exchanges for Your Site

If you’re already using signed exchanges, you don’t need to do anything further to take advantage of this latest update. If you haven't implemented signed exchanges before, you will need to make some changes to your site’s codebase.

Site performance is something that’s constantly changing, and signed exchanges are another great example of how important it is to stay informed on the latest strategies to keep your site competitive.

At RebelMouse, we obsess over processes like SXG to ensure that our clients deliver a superior site experience to their users. If you want to transform your publishing experience and keep up with the speed of the web, request a proposal today and let’s start working together.

What Is RebelMouse?
Request a Proposal
Google Made Major Changes to Its Formula for Page Speed. Here’s What to Do About It in 2022.
Rebel Insights

Google Made Major Changes to Its Formula for Page Speed. Here’s What to Do About It in 2022.

Make sure your site is set up for success in 2022.

In the spring of 2020, Google let the world know that its Core Web Vitals would become the new benchmark for measuring a site's performance in its search results, known as the page experience update. Fast forward to more than a year later in August 2021 when, after much anticipation, Google's page experience update became official.

Since its rollout, developers have felt the impact of how their publishing platforms stack up against the new standard. Important decisions around the architecture of your site can now make or break your site's performance in the eyes of Google.

HTTP Archive, a tracking platform that crawls the web to identify trends and record historical patterns, has revealed how top content management systems (CMS) have weathered the page experience update through the creation of its Core Web Vitals Technology Report. RebelMouse consistently outperforms major CMS platforms on Google's most critical metrics since its rollout and into 2022:

Getting superior scores on Google's performance benchmarks isn't easy, either. The Ahrefs blog analyzed Core Web Vitals data from the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX), which is data from actual Chrome users, to see how the web stacks up against Core Web Vitals. Their study found that only 33% of sites on the web are passing Core Web Vitals.

data from Ahrefs tracked on a line chart finds that shows only 33% of sites on the web pass Google's Core Web Vitals From Ahrefs.

Luckily, performing well on Core Web Vitals is possible with thoughtful, strategic changes to your site’s codebase. Here's what you need to know and how we can help.

Keep reading... Show less
subscription model for publishers
Content Strategy

In 2022, Publishers Take Back Control With Subscription Success

Users are ready to pay for content that delivers

The Rise of the Mature User

It's been a long and winding path, but in 2022 the subscription model continues its upward trajectory as a top revenue strategy for publishers of all sizes. The tug of war between platforms and publishers reached its peak in the last few years of the previous decade, leaving users desperate for a modern user experience that's clear of any clutter from the duopoly that is Google and Facebook. This is why intelligent paywall models are a top choice for users looking to consume content right from the source. When done correctly, the strategy can work for any type of media. The New York Times, a frequent showpiece example of the power of paywalls, is constantly reporting record-busting subscription numbers, with 7.6 million digital subscriptions in 2021.

And it all makes perfect sense. The subscription model eliminates the middleman — such as the platforms — so readers get the experience and content they want, and publishers get the cash they need.

Keep reading... Show less
Interested in a Free Website Health Check?Check Your
Website's Health
Get Your Free Analysis Now
Is There an Optimal Article Length? Chartbeat’s Data on the Relationship Between Word Count and Engagement
Rebel Insights

Is There an Optimal Article Length? Chartbeat’s Data on the Relationship Between Word Count and Engagement

This article was originally posted on the Chartbeat blog. Chartbeat’s real-time content analytics, historical dashboards, and optimization tools help the world’s leading media organizations understand, measure, and build business value from their content.

Publishers have always had to weigh the risks and rewards of quick news bulletins and deeply-reported longreads. Write too much and you might lose readers who are just looking for the facts. Write too little and you might cut the sections that turn those casual visitors into loyal readers.

While striking this balance is the responsibility of a good editor, one of our responsibilities is to uncover data and insights that make those decisions easier. It’s in that spirit that our Data Science team recently investigated the relationship between word count and engagement.

We sought to find out how Average Engaged Time changes as word count increases and how editorial teams can use this data to optimize their content. More on those findings below.

Keep reading... Show less
INP and Core Web Vitals what you need to know
Rebel Insights

INP and Core Web Vitals: What You Need to Know

recently spoke In this article:

What Are Core Web Vitals?

What Is INP?

Why INP Is More Challenging Than FID

How to Improve Your INP Score

INP Debugger

Front-End Solution

Get Ahead of the Rest of the Web

It’s been more than two years since Google let the world know that its Core Web Vitals metrics are the new benchmark for measuring a site's performance in its search results. Developers have since felt the impact of how their publishing platforms stack up against the new standard. Important decisions around the architecture of your site can now make or break your site's performance in the eyes of Google.

Now, the definition of what makes up Core Web Vitals could change. A new responsiveness metric called Interaction to Next Paint (INP) may replace First Input Delay (FID). During Google’s I/O conference in May 2022, it was announced that the INP metric was still in its experimental phase. You can watch the announcement here:

Keep reading... Show less
Build on a Better PlatformReady to See More?
Request a Proposal