Google Retires Web Light Web Page 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 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 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% boost in traffic to web pages.

Web Light formerly worked on Chrome and Android internet browsers and just when Google discovered a sluggish connection. The functionality did not set off for desktop gadgets or tablets, just for mobile devices on slow connections.

Google Analytics still operated in the Web Light enhanced pages.

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

So in theory Web Light need to not have impacted advertisement profits but rather increased them since transcoded webpages received up to 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 much faster, lighter pages to individuals searching on sluggish mobile clients.

To do this, we transcode (convert) web pages on the fly into a version enhanced for sluggish customers, so that these pages fill much faster while conserving information.

This innovation is called Web Light.

Web Light pages preserve a bulk of the pertinent material and offer a link for users to see the original page. “

Web Light No Longer Needed

Seven years later, the availability of affordable however effective mobile phones and an improvement in mobile connection speeds made the requirement of the service no longer necessary.

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

In 2015 there were just 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 Representative documents to interact that the Web Light user representative is retired.

Google’s statement stated:

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

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

While this function has worked as designated and enabled wider access to the richness of the web, increased affordability of more powerful mobile phones has reduced the need for such performance.

We remain committed to evolving and fine-tuning the Search experience to fulfill the changing needs of our users.”

Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero