Google Retires Web Light Webpage Transcoding

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Google revealed they are retiring the seven year old Web Light service that optimized webpages for gadgets on sluggish mobile devices and mobile connections.

The official Google designer page paperwork for Web Light Google and the associated user agent (googleweblight) are both retired.

Google Web Light

Presented in 2015, the function of the Web Light service was to make more of the web accessible to users in nations with slow mobile connections and devices.

The service worked by enhancing websites so that downloading them used 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 web pages.

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

Google Analytics still functioned in the Web Light optimized pages.

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

So in theory Web Light must not have affected advertisement profits however rather increased them considering that transcoded websites got as much as 50% more traffic at the time.

The service was first introduced in Indonesia and then to India.

The now erased paperwork explained the performance of Web Light:

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

To do this, we transcode (convert) web pages on the fly into a version optimized for sluggish customers, so that these pages fill faster while conserving data.

This technology is called Web Light.

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

Web Light No Longer Needed

Seven years later, the availability of low-cost however effective mobile devices and an enhancement in mobile connection speeds made the need of the service no longer required.

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

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

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

Google’s statement stated:

“Gotten Rid Of the Web Light paperwork and retired the Web Light user agent.

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

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

We stay committed to developing and improving the Search experience to meet the altering requirements of our users.”

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero