Google Retires Web Light Website Transcoding

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Google revealed they are retiring the 7 years of age Web Light service that optimized web pages for gadgets on slow mobile devices and mobile connections.

The main Google developer page documentation for Web Light Google and the associated user representative (googleweblight) are both retired.

Google Web Light

Presented in 2015, the purpose of the Web Light service was to make more of the web available to users in nations with slow mobile connections and gadgets.

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

Web Light previously worked on Chrome and Android browsers and only when Google spotted a slow connection. The functionality did not set off for desktop gadgets or tablets, just for mobile devices on sluggish 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 ought to not have impacted ad revenue but rather increased them since transcoded websites got as much as 50% more traffic at the time.

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

The now erased documentation described the functionality of Web Light:

“Google shows much faster, lighter pages to people browsing on slow mobile clients.

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

This innovation is called Web Light.

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

Web Light No Longer Required

7 years later on, the availability of low-cost however effective mobile phones and an enhancement in mobile connection speeds made the requirement of the service no longer necessary.

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

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

The Google developer documentation for Web Light was eliminated and a note was added to Google’s User Agent documents to interact that the Web Light user representative is retired.

Google’s announcement specified:

“Eliminated the Web Light documentation and retired the Web Light user agent.

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

While this feature has actually worked as desired and allowed broader access to the richness of the web, increased affordability of more powerful mobile phones has lessened the need for such performance.

We stay dedicated to progressing and improving the Browse experience to meet the altering requirements of our users.”

Featured image by SMM Panel/Asier Romero