Google Retires Web Light Website Transcoding

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Google revealed they are retiring the seven year old Web Light service that optimized websites for devices 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

Introduced 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 devices.

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

Web Light formerly worked on Chrome and Android browsers and only when Google discovered a slow connection. The performance did not activate for desktop devices or tablets, just for mobile phones on sluggish connections.

Google Analytics still functioned in the Web Light enhanced pages.

In terms of advertisement serving, Web Light enhanced pages supported Sovrn, Zedo, AdSense, and Google Publisher Tags.

So in theory Web Light should not have actually affected advertisement earnings but rather increased them given that transcoded web pages received approximately 50% more traffic at the time.

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

The now deleted paperwork explained the performance of Web Light:

“Google shows 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 load faster while conserving data.

This technology is called Web Light.

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

Web Light No Longer Needed

Seven years later, the availability of low-cost however powerful mobile phones and an enhancement in mobile connection speeds made the necessity of the service no longer essential.

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

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

The Google designer paperwork for Web Light was eliminated and a note was added to Google’s User Representative paperwork 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 representative.

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

While this function has actually worked as intended and made it possible for more comprehensive access to the richness of the web, increased price of more effective smartphones has actually lessened the need for such performance.

We remain committed to evolving and refining the Search experience to satisfy the altering needs of our users.”

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero