Have you started seeing traffic coming from GoogleWeblight in your stats? If yes, you are not alone, as many webmasters around the globe have noticed the same. You will keep seeing more of traffic coming from GoogleWeblight, and in this article I will share everything a blogger & a webmaster need to know about this latest addition by Google.
GoogleWeblight is an initiative by Google to improve the browsing experience of millions of users who are on slow internet speed. Typically for countries like Indonesia, India & Brazil where a majority of users are on 2G or very slow internet connection. It is also being called as Streamlined lite version of mobile search. This feature will work only on Android devices & on chrome browser. Whenever a user is using Google search on Android powered Chrome browser, and the browser detects the slow connection, the lite version of mobile search will automatically kick-in. It will transcode the page to light version, and will help webpages to load way faster.
What Streamlined lite version of the mobile search meant for a user?
For an end user it meant, the webpage will load 4X faster and 80% of less bandwidth consumption.
The key factor here is, faster rendering of the web page, which will help millions of users around the less developed & developing countries to browse more pages, and less hassle with slow loading of the page. Here is a side by side comparison of the page load when using normal Google search & GoogleWeblight. This test is done on 2G connection (about 35kbps speed):
Users can opt out for lighter version anytime and go to the actual version of the page by clicking on “View original”. Here is a screenshot of the lite version of ShoutMeLoud. You can click on this link to see it live on your browser.
When I tested ShoutMeLoud.com load time on transcoded & without transcoded version using Webpagetest, the difference is about 90%.
What Did GoogleWeblight mean for bloggers?
As a blogger you need to know that; when a user will visit your site via Google search (On Android device using Chrome browser & slow connection – Yah! lot of factors), user will see a lite version of your web page. All the elements will be removed & user will be presented with the content only. The good thing is; these lite versions of the page will work with AdSense, Sovrn & Zedo. If you are an ad network, you can apply for being whitelisted by using the form link on this page.
You can opt out of GoogleWeblight (That means the only regular page will be served) anytime by setting the HTTP header “
Cache-Control: no-transform” in your page response. Google will not transcode the page when they see the above HTTP header. Though I suggest not to do that, as millions of users are coming online from the remote area, where high-speed internet is not available. Having your transcoded version of the site served to them meant, your content is reaching to a complete new audience.
Few important points:
- Google analytics will not track the stats of transcoded pages, so that page can load quickly. You can see the server logs or using WordPress.com stats to see the traffic coming from GoogleWeblight.
- Pages will be transcoded only for mobile device & not for desktop or tablet.
- For any issue or feedback, you can mail to [email protected]
- If you decide to opt out of transcode, Google will label this page in the search results as slow loading page.
- Sites which requires cookies, or videos sites can;t be transcoded at this moment.
As an end user & as a publisher, I find this new feature to be of great help. I live in India, and travel to many remote areas around the year, where internet connection is slow. I understand how frustrating it is to wait for minutes to load a page. Many web browser like UCweb is popular in India, as it helps users to load the page faster on slow bandwidth.
What’s your thought about GoogleWeblight feature? Let me know your thoughts & opinion in the comment section.