Google retires transcoding of Web Light web pages – Explained!

Google has introduced it’ll retire its seven-12 months-outdated Web Light service, which optimized web pages for units on gradual cell units and cell connections.

Official Google Developer Page Documentation for Web Light Google and the related person agent (googleweblight) have each been retired.

Google web gentle

Introduced in 2015, the aim of the Web Light service was to make the web extra accessible to customers in nations with gradual connections and cell units.

The service labored by optimizing web pages in order that their downloads used 80 p.c much less knowledge, leading to a fourfold enhance in velocity over slower 2G cell networks.

According to Google the service in a 50% enhance in visitors to web pages.

Web Light beforehand labored on Chrome and Android browsers and solely when Google detected a gradual connection. The function has not activated for desktop or pill units, just for cell units with gradual connections.

Google Analytics was nonetheless engaged on pages optimized for Web Light.

In phrases of advert serving, Web Light optimized pages assist Sovrn, Zedo, AdSense and Google Publisher tags.

So, in concept, Web Light shouldn’t have impacted advert income, however somewhat elevated it since transcode web pages had been getting as much as 50% extra visitors on the time.

The service was first launched in Indonesia after which in India.

The now deleted documentation described the performance of Web Light:

“Google exhibits quicker, lighter pages to individuals looking out on gradual cell purchasers.

To do that, we transcode (convert) web pages on the fly into an optimized model for gradual purchasers, so these pages load quicker whereas saving knowledge.

This know-how known as Web Light.

Web Light pages retain most of the related content material and supply a hyperlink that permits customers to view the unique web page. “

Web Light is now not wanted

Seven years later, the provision of low cost however highly effective cell units and the advance in cell connection speeds made the necessity for the service superfluous.

According to Statista, 99% of cell knowledge utilization in India throughout 2021 was on 4G units.

There had been solely 47 million 4G-succesful units in 2015 in comparison with 650 million in 2021.

Google’s developer documentation for Web Light has been eliminated, and a word has been added to Google’s User Agent documentation stating that the Web Light User Agent has been retired.

Google’s announcement said:

“Removed Web Light documentation and retired Web Light User Agent.

We’ve launched Web Light to assist us ship quicker, lighter pages to individuals looking out on entry-stage units.

While this function labored as anticipated and allowed for wider entry to the richness of the web, the elevated affordability of extra highly effective smartphones diminished the necessity for such a function.

We stay dedicated to evolving and refining the search expertise to fulfill the altering wants of our customers.”


Featured picture by Shutterstock/Asier Romero

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