AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. The loudest criticism of AMP has been that it doesn’t display publisher domain URLs. Instead, users have historically seen the “google.com/amp/” URL structure, which is required by AMP pre-rendering. Google has been trying to address that issue for some time and, in November, offered a developer preview of a solution.
When you click a link on your phone with a little lightning bolt next to it in Google search, you’re getting something in the AMP format. You’ve probably noticed that those pages load super quickly and usually look much simpler than regular webpages. You may have also noticed that the URL at the top of your browser started with “www.google.com/somethingorother” instead of with the webpage you thought you were visiting.
Now it’s formally rolling out that solution, which will still deliver AMP speed to publisher URLs. It involves use of ‘Signed Exchanges’, a technical framework that, as a practical matter, enables browsers to display publisher URLs on cached AMP results. It’s currently only available for Chrome 73 or higher (soon Microsoft Edge). To build this at scale, Cloudflare worked with Google to implement an emerging standard called Signed Exchanges. This technology, paired with Cloudflare’s global network of 175 data centers in 75+ countries, allows Cloudflare to digitally sign each AMP page it delivers to Google’s AMP Cache. Supported browsers will now show actual domains (example.com) instead of the Google AMP URL (google.com/amp/example.com) so that publishers can control their own cookies, analytics, and brand in their URL bar. Cloudflare is currently the only company with a CDN solution to implement AMP Signed Exchanges. Cloudflare customers can enable this feature with one-click on their dashboards, and it will roll out over the next few weeks.
“AMP has been a great solution to improve the performance of the internet and we were eager to work with the AMP Project to help eliminate one of AMP’s biggest issues — that it wasn’t served from a publisher’s perspective,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare. “As the only provider currently enabling this new solution, our global scale will allow publishers everywhere to benefit from a faster and more brand-aware mobile experience for their content.”