Google Retires Web Light Web Page Transcoding

Posted by

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

The main Google designer page documentation 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 available to users in countries with slow mobile connections and gadgets.

The service worked by enhancing websites so that downloading them used 80% less data, 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 previously worked on Chrome and Android internet browsers and only when Google found a slow connection. The functionality did not activate for desktop devices or tablets, only 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 should not have impacted advertisement revenue but rather increased them considering that transcoded webpages got as much as 50% more traffic at the time.

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

The now deleted paperwork described the performance of Web Light:

“Google reveals faster, lighter pages to people browsing on slow mobile customers.

To do this, we transcode (convert) websites on the fly into a variation enhanced for slow clients, so that these pages fill much faster while conserving data.

This innovation is called Web Light.

Web Light pages protect a bulk of the appropriate material and supply a link for users to see the original page. “

Web Light No Longer Needed

7 years later on, the availability of low-cost but effective mobile devices and an enhancement in mobile connection speeds made the need of the service no longer needed.

According to Statista, 99% of mobile data usage in India during 2021 happened over 4G devices.

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

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

Google’s statement specified:

“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 searching on entry-level devices.

While this function has worked as desired and allowed more comprehensive access to the richness of the web, increased affordability of more effective smart devices has diminished the need for such functionality.

We remain committed to developing and fine-tuning the Search experience to meet the changing requirements of our users.”

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero