Google announced they are retiring the seven year old Web Light service that optimized websites for gadgets on slow mobile phones and mobile connections.
The main Google designer page documents for Web Light Google and the associated user representative (googleweblight) are both retired.
Google Web Light
Introduced in 2015, the purpose of the Web Light service was to make more of the web available to users in countries with sluggish mobile connections and gadgets.
The service worked by optimizing websites so that downloading them utilized 80% less information, 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 previously worked on Chrome and Android web browsers and just when Google identified a slow connection. The performance did not trigger for desktop gadgets or tablets, just for mobile devices on slow connections.
Google Analytics still functioned in the Web Light optimized pages.
In regards to ad serving, Web Light enhanced pages supported Sovrn, Zedo, AdSense, and Google Publisher Tags.
So in theory Web Light should not have impacted advertisement income but rather increased them given that 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 documentation explained the performance of Web Light:
“Google reveals much faster, lighter pages to people browsing on sluggish mobile clients.
To do this, we transcode (transform) web pages on the fly into a version enhanced for sluggish customers, so that these pages pack faster while saving data.
This technology is called Web Light.
Web Light pages maintain a bulk of the relevant content and provide a link for users to view the original page. “
Web Light No Longer Needed
Seven years later on, the schedule of affordable however effective mobile devices and an improvement in mobile connection speeds made the necessity of the service no longer necessary.
According to Statista, 99% of mobile data usage in India throughout 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 documentation for Web Light was gotten rid of and a note was contributed to Google’s User Representative paperwork to communicate that the Web Light user representative is retired.
Google’s statement specified:
“Removed the Web Light documentation and retired the Web Light user representative.
We introduced Web Light to allow us to serve much faster, lighter pages to individuals browsing on entry-level gadgets.
While this function has actually worked as desired and enabled broader access to the richness of the web, increased cost of more effective smart devices has diminished the requirement for such functionality.
We stay committed to evolving and fine-tuning the Browse experience to satisfy the changing requirements of our users.”
Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero