Google Retires Web Light Website Transcoding

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Google revealed they are retiring the seven year old Web Light service that enhanced webpages for gadgets on slow mobile phones and mobile connections.

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

Google Web Light

Presented in 2015, the purpose of the Web Light service was to make more of the web accessible to users in countries with slow mobile connections and devices.

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

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

Web Light formerly worked on Chrome and Android web browsers and only when Google detected a slow connection. The performance did not set off for desktop gadgets or tablets, just for mobile devices 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 ought to not have actually affected advertisement revenue but rather increased them considering that transcoded websites received as much as 50% more traffic at the time.

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

The now deleted documents described the functionality of Web Light:

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

To do this, we transcode (transform) websites on the fly into a version optimized for slow customers, so that these pages fill much faster while conserving information.

This technology is called Web Light.

Web Light pages preserve a majority of the relevant content and offer a link for users to view the initial page. “

Web Light No Longer Needed

Seven years later on, the availability of economical however powerful mobile devices 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 during 2021 happened 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 added to Google’s User Agent paperwork to interact that the Web Light user agent is retired.

Google’s statement mentioned:

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

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

While this function has actually worked as designated and made it possible for wider access to the richness of the web, increased price of more effective mobile phones has actually lessened the need for such functionality.

We stay dedicated to developing and refining the Search experience to fulfill the altering requirements of our users.”

Featured image by SMM Panel/Asier Romero