Google introduced they’re retiring the seven yr outdated Web Light service that optimized webpages for gadgets on sluggish cell gadgets and cell connections.
The official Google developer web page documentation for Web Light Google and the related consumer agent (googleweblight) are each retired.
Google Web Light
Launched in 2015, the aim of the Web Light service was to make extra of the net accessible to customers in international locations with sluggish cell connections and gadgets.
The service labored by optimizing webpages in order that downloading them used 80% much less information, leading to a four-fold enhance in velocity over the slower 2G cell networks.
Based on Google the service in a 50% enhance in site visitors to webpages.
Web Light beforehand labored on Chrome and Android browsers and solely when Google detected a sluggish connection. The performance didn’t set off for desktop gadgets or tablets, just for cell gadgets on sluggish connections.
Google Analytics nonetheless functioned within the Web Light optimized pages.
By way of advert serving, Web Light optimized pages supported Sovrn, Zedo, AdSense, and Google Writer Tags.
So in concept Web Light shouldn’t have impacted advert income however quite elevated them since transcoded webpages acquired as much as 50% extra site visitors on the time.
The service was first launched in Indonesia after which to India.
The now deleted documentation described the performance of Web Light:
“Google reveals sooner, lighter pages to individuals looking on sluggish cell purchasers.
To do that, we transcode (convert) net pages on the fly right into a model optimized for sluggish purchasers, in order that these pages load sooner whereas saving information.
This know-how known as Web Light.
Web Light pages protect a majority of the related content material and supply a hyperlink for customers to view the unique web page. “
Web Light No Longer Wanted
Seven years later, the supply of cheap however highly effective cell gadgets and an enchancment in cell connection speeds made the need of the service not obligatory.
Based on Statista, 99% of cell information utilization in India throughout 2021 occurred over 4G gadgets.
In 2015 there have been solely 47 million gadgets that had been 4G succesful in comparison with 650 million in 2021.
The Google developer documentation for Web Light was eliminated and a notice was added to Google’s Consumer Agent documentation to speak that the Web Light consumer agent is retired.
Google’s announcement said:
“Eliminated the Web Light documentation and retired the Web Light consumer agent.
We launched Web Light to allow us to serve sooner, lighter pages to individuals looking on entry-level gadgets.
Whereas this characteristic has labored as supposed and enabled broader entry to the richness of the net, elevated affordability of extra highly effective smartphones has diminished the necessity for such performance.
We stay dedicated to evolving and refining the Search expertise to satisfy the altering wants of our customers.”
Featured picture by Shutterstock/Asier Romero