Google Retires Web Light Website Transcoding

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Google announced they are retiring the 7 years of age Web Light service that enhanced web pages for gadgets on slow mobile phones and mobile connections.

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

Google Web Light

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

The service worked by optimizing web pages 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% boost in traffic to webpages.

Web Light formerly dealt with Chrome and Android internet browsers and only when Google spotted a sluggish connection. The functionality did not trigger for desktop devices or tablets, just for mobile phones on sluggish connections.

Google Analytics still operated 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 must not have actually impacted ad revenue but rather increased them since transcoded websites received as much as 50% more traffic at the time.

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

The now erased paperwork explained the functionality of Web Light:

“Google shows quicker, lighter pages to people searching on slow mobile clients.

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

This technology is called Web Light.

Web Light pages protect a majority of the relevant content and provide a link for users to see the original page. “

Web Light No Longer Required

7 years later, the accessibility of economical but effective mobile devices and an enhancement in mobile connection speeds made the necessity of the service no longer needed.

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

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

The Google developer documentation for Web Light was gotten rid of and a note was added to Google’s User Representative documents to communicate that the Web Light user representative is retired.

Google’s announcement specified:

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

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

While this feature has actually worked as intended and enabled wider access to the richness of the web, increased cost of more powerful mobile phones has actually decreased the need for such performance.

We remain dedicated to developing and improving the Search experience to fulfill the changing needs of our users.”

Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero