Google revealed they are retiring the 7 years of age Web Light service that optimized websites for devices on sluggish mobile devices and mobile connections.
The main Google developer 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 available to users in nations with sluggish mobile connections and devices.
The service worked by optimizing web pages so that downloading them used 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% boost in traffic to web pages.
Web Light formerly dealt with Chrome and Android browsers and just when Google spotted a sluggish connection. The performance did not trigger for desktop devices or tablets, only for mobile phones on sluggish connections.
Google Analytics still worked in the Web Light enhanced pages.
In terms of ad serving, Web Light optimized pages supported Sovrn, Zedo, AdSense, and Google Publisher Tags.
So in theory Web Light should not have affected advertisement profits however rather increased them given that transcoded webpages got up to 50% more traffic at the time.
The service was first presented in Indonesia and after that to India.
The now deleted documentation described the performance of Web Light:
“Google reveals faster, lighter pages to individuals searching on slow mobile customers.
To do this, we transcode (convert) websites on the fly into a version optimized for slow clients, so that these pages pack quicker while saving information.
This innovation is called Web Light.
Web Light pages preserve a bulk of the relevant material and offer a link for users to see the original page. “
Web Light No Longer Required
Seven years later, the availability of low-cost but effective mobile phones and an enhancement in mobile connection speeds made the need of the service no longer required.
According to Statista, 99% of mobile data use in India throughout 2021 took place over 4G devices.
In 2015 there were only 47 million devices that were 4G capable compared to 650 million in 2021.
The Google developer documentation for Web Light was removed and a note was added to Google’s User Representative documents to communicate that the Web Light user representative is retired.
Google’s statement stated:
“Removed the Web Light paperwork and retired the Web Light user representative.
We introduced Web Light to enable us to serve quicker, lighter pages to individuals browsing on entry-level gadgets.
While this feature has actually worked as designated and made it possible for more comprehensive access to the richness of the web, increased cost of more effective mobile phones has actually lessened the need for such performance.
We remain committed to developing and refining the Browse experience to fulfill the altering needs of our users.”
Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero