Google Retires Web Light Website Transcoding

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Google announced they are retiring the 7 year old Web Light service that enhanced websites for devices on slow mobile phones and mobile connections.

The official Google designer page paperwork 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 slow mobile connections and devices.

The service worked by enhancing 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 discovered a slow connection. The functionality did not trigger for desktop gadgets or tablets, only for mobile phones on slow connections.

Google Analytics still worked in the Web Light optimized pages.

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

So in theory Web Light must not have actually affected advertisement profits however rather increased them given that transcoded web pages received approximately 50% more traffic at the time.

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

The now deleted documents described the functionality of Web Light:

“Google reveals faster, lighter pages to individuals browsing on slow mobile customers.

To do this, we transcode (transform) websites on the fly into a variation optimized for sluggish clients, so that these pages load much faster while saving information.

This technology is called Web Light.

Web Light pages preserve a bulk of the appropriate material and offer a link for users to view the initial page. “

Web Light No Longer Needed

7 years later on, the availability of inexpensive however effective mobile devices and an enhancement in mobile connection speeds made the necessity of the service no longer necessary.

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 developer documents for Web Light was eliminated and a note was added to Google’s User Representative documentation to interact that the Web Light user agent is retired.

Google’s statement specified:

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

We introduced Web Light to allow us to serve quicker, lighter pages to people browsing on entry-level devices.

While this feature has worked as desired and made it possible for wider access to the richness of the web, increased price of more effective mobile phones has actually lessened the requirement for such functionality.

We stay dedicated to evolving and fine-tuning the Search experience to satisfy the changing requirements of our users.”

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero