Improving the website browsing experience of millions is at the heart of Google’s Web Light tool. This initiative, exclusive to cell phone technology, was originally devised for users in countries and regions across the world which supported older mobile technology. With 5G making strides, the slower 2G and 3G internet connections were hurting, their ability to display design-heavy web content seriously curtailed. The interconnected world already a reality, Web Light technology is a massive bonus for both people living or traveling —and thus roaming— in those areas worldwide which can only channel slower connections. It also means that your website will be securing traffic from slower connection hubs that was, until now, marginal.
The approach to this issue is simple. Google Web Light ‘lightens’ or ‘thins out’ pages on its search feature while maintaining the majority of relevant content. Or in the words of Google, “To do this, we transcode (convert) web pages on the fly into a version optimized for slow clients,” and thus save precious data. This option is only good for mobile browsing (not desktop or laptop) and the user always has a relevant link to the original content and web design.
This page optimization has meant a significant advantage in load times, data consumption, and traffic of AMP pages. These are the reported numbers:
- x4 faster load time
- 80% fewer byte use
- 50% traffic increase
Web Light Transcoding is only supported on Chrome and Android browsers (version 2.3+), as well as Google Go. Specific data is found on the Search Appearance menu of the Google Search Console, enabling the user to filter Web Light results.
Is it for everyone? Some users have raised concerns, stating that these stripped versions are either too simplistic or that the user experience suffers. Google has provided a simple opt-out option for these non-believers. Just set the “Cache-Control: no transform” http header in your page response and the Googlebot will not transcode.
It is also important to note that not all web pages can be transcoded for Web Light referencing. Technical limitations shun sites that require cookies, like personalized or login first sites, or content-data heavy sites such as video platforms.
Google Web Light is one of a few technologies that will help make your website faster… and better. Other options to consider include:
- HTTP2 protocol for multiplexing capabilities that can boost your site up to 50%
- SSL Certification for connection encrypting, improving both speed and security
- Brotil compression algorithm helps decrease the size load of transported data
- Content Delivery Network secures faster delivery within this worldwide server network