Google Retires Web Light Website Transcoding

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Google revealed they are retiring the 7 year old Web Light service that optimized websites for devices on sluggish mobile devices and mobile connections.

The official Google developer page paperwork for Web Light Google and the associated user agent (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 nations with slow mobile connections and gadgets.

The service worked by enhancing web pages so that downloading them used 80% less information, resulting in a four-fold increase in speed over the slower 2G mobile networks.

According to Google the service in a 50% increase in traffic to websites.

Web Light previously worked on Chrome and Android internet browsers and only when Google discovered a sluggish connection. The performance did not set off for desktop gadgets or tablets, just for mobile phones on slow connections.

Google Analytics still functioned in the Web Light optimized pages.

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

So in theory Web Light must not have impacted ad profits but rather increased them since transcoded webpages got approximately 50% more traffic at the time.

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

The now erased documentation described the functionality of Web Light:

“Google shows quicker, lighter pages to people browsing on sluggish mobile clients.

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

This technology is called Web Light.

Web Light pages maintain a majority of the relevant material and provide a link for users to view the original page. “

Web Light No Longer Required

7 years later, the schedule of low-cost however powerful mobile devices and an enhancement in mobile connection speeds made the need of the service no longer essential.

According to Statista, 99% of mobile data usage 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 documents for Web Light was eliminated and a note was added to Google’s User Agent documents to communicate that the Web Light user representative is retired.

Google’s announcement specified:

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

We presented Web Light to enable us to serve quicker, lighter pages to individuals searching on entry-level devices.

While this function has actually worked as intended and allowed more comprehensive access to the richness of the web, increased price of more powerful smartphones has actually decreased the requirement for such performance.

We remain dedicated to evolving and improving the Browse experience to satisfy the altering needs of our users.”

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero