Google Retires Web Light Web Page Transcoding

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

The service worked by optimizing websites so that downloading them utilized 80% less data, leading to a four-fold increase in speed over the slower 2G mobile networks.

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

Web Light previously worked on Chrome and Android internet browsers and just when Google discovered a slow connection. The functionality did not activate for desktop devices or tablets, only for mobile devices on slow connections.

Google Analytics still functioned in the Web Light optimized pages.

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

So in theory Web Light should not have actually impacted ad earnings however rather increased them since transcoded webpages got as much as 50% more traffic at the time.

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

The now erased documentation explained the functionality of Web Light:

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

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

This innovation is called Web Light.

Web Light pages maintain a bulk of the pertinent content and supply a link for users to view the original page. “

Web Light No Longer Needed

Seven years later on, the availability of affordable but powerful mobile phones and an improvement in mobile connection speeds made the requirement of the service no longer essential.

According to Statista, 99% of mobile data use in India during 2021 occurred 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 gotten rid of and a note was contributed to Google’s User Agent documents to communicate that the Web Light user representative is retired.

Google’s statement stated:

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

We introduced Web Light to enable us to serve much faster, lighter pages to people browsing on entry-level gadgets.

While this function has actually worked as desired and enabled broader access to the richness of the web, increased price of more powerful smartphones has decreased the need for such functionality.

We stay committed to progressing and improving the Browse experience to meet the changing needs of our users.”

Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero