Google Retires Web Light Website Transcoding

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Google announced they are retiring the 7 years of age Web Light service that optimized websites for devices on slow mobile devices and mobile connections.

The main 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 optimizing websites so that downloading them used 80% less data, leading to 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 discovered a sluggish connection. The functionality did not activate for desktop gadgets or tablets, only for mobile devices on slow connections.

Google Analytics still worked in the Web Light enhanced pages.

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

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

The service was initially presented in Indonesia and then to India.

The now erased paperwork explained the functionality of Web Light:

“Google reveals faster, lighter pages to individuals searching on sluggish mobile customers.

To do this, we transcode (transform) websites on the fly into a variation optimized for slow customers, so that these pages fill quicker while saving data.

This innovation is called Web Light.

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

Web Light No Longer Required

7 years later on, the availability of economical but powerful mobile phones and an enhancement in mobile connection speeds made the requirement of the service no longer required.

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

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

Google’s announcement mentioned:

“Gotten Rid Of the Web Light documentation 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 feature has worked as desired and made it possible for wider access to the richness of the web, increased price of more powerful smart devices has lessened the need for such functionality.

We remain committed to developing and refining the Browse experience to satisfy the changing needs of our users.”

Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero