Google Retires Web Light Website Transcoding

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Google revealed they are retiring the seven years of age Web Light service that optimized web pages for gadgets on slow mobile devices 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 purpose of the Web Light service was to make more of the web available to users in countries with slow mobile connections and devices.

The service worked by enhancing webpages so that downloading them utilized 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% increase in traffic to websites.

Web Light formerly dealt with Chrome and Android internet browsers and just when Google identified a slow connection. The functionality did not set off for desktop devices or tablets, just for mobile devices on slow connections.

Google Analytics still functioned in the Web Light optimized pages.

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

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

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

The now erased documents explained the functionality of Web Light:

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

To do this, we transcode (convert) websites on the fly into a version optimized for sluggish clients, so that these pages load quicker while saving information.

This technology is called Web Light.

Web Light pages preserve a bulk of the relevant content and provide a link for users to view the initial page. “

Web Light No Longer Needed

Seven years later on, the availability of inexpensive but powerful mobile devices and an enhancement in mobile connection speeds made the necessity of the service no longer required.

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

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 removed and a note was added to Google’s User Agent documents to communicate that the Web Light user agent is retired.

Google’s statement mentioned:

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

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

While this function has worked as desired and made it possible for broader access to the richness of the web, increased affordability of more powerful smart devices has reduced the need for such performance.

We stay committed to progressing and fine-tuning the Browse experience to fulfill the changing needs of our users.”

Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero