Google Retires Web Light Webpage Transcoding

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Google announced they are retiring the 7 year old Web Light service that enhanced webpages for devices on sluggish mobile devices 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 purpose of the Web Light service was to make more of the web accessible to users in countries with slow mobile connections and gadgets.

The service worked by optimizing websites so that downloading them used 80% less data, resulting in 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 formerly worked on Chrome and Android web browsers and just when Google detected a sluggish connection. The functionality did not set off for desktop gadgets or tablets, just for mobile phones on sluggish connections.

Google Analytics still operated in the Web Light optimized pages.

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

So in theory Web Light should not have affected ad income however rather increased them since transcoded web pages got approximately 50% more traffic at the time.

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

The now erased paperwork described the functionality of Web Light:

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

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

This technology is called Web Light.

Web Light pages preserve a majority of the pertinent content and provide a link for users to see the original page. “

Web Light No Longer Needed

Seven years later, the schedule of economical but effective mobile devices and an improvement in mobile connection speeds made the necessity of the service no longer needed.

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

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

The Google developer paperwork for Web Light was gotten rid of and a note was added to Google’s User Representative documentation to communicate that the Web Light user agent is retired.

Google’s announcement stated:

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

We introduced Web Light to enable us to serve quicker, lighter pages to individuals browsing on entry-level gadgets.

While this function has worked as designated and allowed broader access to the richness of the web, increased price of more powerful smartphones has lessened the need for such performance.

We stay committed to developing and refining the Search experience to fulfill the changing requirements of our users.”

Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero