Google Retires Web Light Webpage Transcoding

Posted by

Google revealed they are retiring the 7 years of age Web Light service that enhanced webpages for devices on slow mobile phones and mobile connections.

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

Google Web Light

Introduced in 2015, the function of the Web Light service was to make more of the web available to users in countries with slow mobile connections and gadgets.

The service worked by optimizing websites 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% increase in traffic to webpages.

Web Light formerly dealt with Chrome and Android web browsers and only when Google identified a slow connection. The performance did not activate for desktop devices or tablets, just for mobile phones on sluggish connections.

Google Analytics still operated in the Web Light enhanced pages.

In terms of ad serving, Web Light optimized pages supported Sovrn, Zedo, AdSense, and Google Publisher Tags.

So in theory Web Light must not have actually affected ad profits but rather increased them considering that transcoded websites received as much as 50% more traffic at the time.

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

The now erased documents described the functionality of Web Light:

“Google shows much faster, lighter pages to people searching on sluggish mobile clients.

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

This innovation is called Web Light.

Web Light pages maintain a bulk of the pertinent content and supply a link for users to view the initial page. “

Web Light No Longer Required

Seven years later on, the availability of economical however powerful mobile devices and an enhancement in mobile connection speeds made the requirement of the service no longer needed.

According to Statista, 99% of mobile data use in India throughout 2021 occurred over 4G devices.

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

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

Google’s announcement specified:

“Gotten Rid Of the Web Light documentation and retired the Web Light user representative.

We introduced Web Light to allow us to serve much faster, lighter pages to individuals searching on entry-level gadgets.

While this feature has actually worked as intended and enabled broader access to the richness of the web, increased price of more powerful mobile phones has actually decreased the requirement for such functionality.

We stay dedicated to evolving and refining the Browse experience to fulfill the changing requirements of our users.”

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero