Google Retires Web Light Web Page Transcoding

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Google revealed they are retiring the seven years of age Web Light service that enhanced websites for gadgets on slow mobile phones and mobile connections.

The main Google designer page documents for Web Light Google and the associated user representative (googleweblight) are both retired.

Google Web Light

Introduced in 2015, the function of the Web Light service was to make more of the web accessible to users in countries with sluggish mobile connections and devices.

The service worked by optimizing web pages so that downloading them utilized 80% less information, leading to a four-fold boost in speed over the slower 2G mobile networks.

According to Google the service in a 50% boost in traffic to websites.

Web Light previously dealt with Chrome and Android internet browsers and only when Google detected a slow connection. The performance did not activate for desktop gadgets or tablets, just for mobile devices on slow connections.

Google Analytics still worked in the Web Light enhanced pages.

In regards to advertisement serving, Web Light optimized pages supported Sovrn, Zedo, AdSense, and Google Publisher Tags.

So in theory Web Light ought to not have impacted advertisement revenue but rather increased them since transcoded webpages got up to 50% more traffic at the time.

The service was initially presented in Indonesia and after that to India.

The now deleted paperwork explained the performance of Web Light:

“Google reveals quicker, lighter pages to individuals searching on slow mobile customers.

To do this, we transcode (convert) websites on the fly into a version optimized for sluggish clients, so that these pages fill much faster while conserving information.

This technology is called Web Light.

Web Light pages maintain a majority of the relevant content and offer a link for users to view the initial page. “

Web Light No Longer Needed

Seven years later, the availability of affordable but effective mobile devices and an improvement in mobile connection speeds made the requirement of the service no longer essential.

According to Statista, 99% of mobile data usage in India during 2021 took place over 4G gadgets.

In 2015 there were just 47 million devices that were 4G capable compared to 650 million in 2021.

The Google designer documents for Web Light was eliminated and a note was added to Google’s User Agent paperwork to interact that the Web Light user representative is retired.

Google’s statement mentioned:

“Removed the Web Light paperwork and retired the Web Light user agent.

We presented Web Light to allow us to serve much faster, lighter pages to individuals browsing on entry-level devices.

While this feature has worked as designated and enabled broader access to the richness of the web, increased price of more effective smart devices has actually lessened the need for such functionality.

We stay dedicated to developing and fine-tuning the Browse experience to meet the changing needs of our users.”

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero