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How To Verify Automatic Signed Exchanges (SXGs) Implementation With Google Search Console

Automatic Signed Exchanges is a recent transformational feature from Cloudflare, aiming to revamp the traditional model on how web pages are loaded. This functionality is in partnership with Google, who initiated Signed Exchanges (SXGs) in the first place.

If you aren’t aware of this or need a quick primer, check out the post titled “About Automatic Signed Exchanges (SXGs) and LCP Load Times” first.

Long story short, turning on Automatic Signed Exchanges is only part of the process. The next critical aspect is to make sure if it’s working. This content guide is focused on doing exactly that via Google Search Console (GSC).

For our satisfaction, we couldn’t get a better source than GSC itself, as that allows us to directly see if Google can recognize our execution.

Step-by-Step Instructions on Verifying Cloudflare’s Automatic Signed Exchanges Implementation With GSC

Step 1: Log Into Google Search Console

After you’ve enabled Automatic Signed Exchanges on your site, log into the applicable website property in Google Search Console.

Step 2: Inspect a URL

By default, your entire site qualifies for Automatic Signed Exchanges. There might be a way to pick & choose site sections or only specific URLs with custom Cloudflare configurations; however, if you aren’t sure, in all likelihood, it’s sitewide.

In any case, inspect an existing URL, and in a few seconds, Google will retrieve the results from its index.

a retrieved result of an inspected URL in GSC
A fetched result of an inspected URL in GSC.

Step 3: Click on the “TEST LIVE URL” Button After Inspected URL Results Are Fetched

For the same URL you inspected in step 2, there should be a button called “TEST LIVE URL” on the top right section of the fetched results.

Click on that button, and then wait for GSC to load the data. It may take a minute or two.

TEST LIVE URL button in GSC
TEST LIVE URL button in GSC.

Step 4: Under “Enhancements,” Click on Mobile Usability

Once the live test information is propagated, under “enhancements,” click on mobile usability.

Mobile Usability under Enhancements in GSC
Mobile Usability under “Enhancements” in GSC.

Step 5: Next, Hit the Crawl Details Dropdown > and Then Click on HTTP Response

See the screenshot image that follows to see what this looks like visually.

URL Crawl details in GSC
URL crawl details in GSC.

Step 6: Lastly, Look for a Value of mi-sha256-03 for “Content-Encoding”

Selecting HTTP response will result in Google Search Console giving out a few more technical data points about the crawl. This is typically slotted inside the “more info” tab — which is where you’ll be taken to by default.

Anyway, amongst all the details, look for a line item called “content-encoding.” And for its value, see if it shows mi-sha256-03. If it does, then that’s proof that Cloudflare’s Automatic Signed Exchanges works for your site.

proof that Cloudflare Automatic Signed Exchanges is working
Proof that Cloudflare’s Automatic Signed Exchanges is working.

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Bonus Tip

Say you do not have access to Google search console, or in general, you’re curious to see if any site has implemented Automatic Signed Exchanges, then an easy way to verify that is to first head over to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

Then, plug in the URL you want to test and follow steps 5 & 6 described above.

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