If you're facing many enemies, you can web-grapple some and fight the few that avoid it. This greatly reduces the damage you take since many of the enemy won't be damaging you while they're stuck in the web. They might break free but still have to move slowly and might get re-stuck; it could be several rounds before they get out, and by then, you might have killed many of their buddies so they recently-stuck enemies won't have much help against you. Basically, you turn a big fight into two smaller ones.
If your GM doesn't metagame, then the stuck guys don't even know for sure where the fastest way out of the webs might be - they might blunder deeper into the spell rather than taking the easy way out.
Enemy spellcasters are often taken out of the fight because they're more likely to be stuck longer and also they can only see 5' through the webs so they cannot even see you anymore to target you with their spells. Of course, they might have a spell to help them get out, but if they don't, it's usually a bad day for them.
In addition to funneling, it's also a refrigerator. You cast it when there's lots of foes. Many will get caught or slowed so that you have more time to take on the first few before the others get out. This helps you focus fir and take less damage overall.
Web is great for catching running foes. Especially when you have a way to get around it quicker than they do.
Web is instant cover against ranged attacks.
A web and a torch is a low-level area attack with no reflex save.
We've used it when we had to get halfway down a chasm. Instead of climbing down, we cast web at the level we needed to go to and jumped. The web caught out fall and then we escaped and climbed into the opening. Another use would be to cast it just above the bottom. You jump in and get caught and then dispel it so you don't take full falling damage.
As a second level spell, it usually doesn't scale well into the teen levels. but below that it usually does good.
It has a large area and once something's stuck there, it pretty much stays stuck. If something fails its save, it has to
1) make a cmb or escape artist attempt to get free(standard).
2) make a cmb or escape artist attempt when they try to move, if they fail they only move 1 square, and have to redo step 1 on the next round. It's also difficult terrain.
It can easily make an entire group of 7 enemies just stand there for multiple rounds, unable to get free. Precisely this happened in one of my games, was really hard on the monsters.
It's not all that good for catching ogres, but it works wonders on things like guardsmen or hobgoblins, mooks that work in groups of enemies less powerful than you.
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The other thing is that it was noticeably more reliable in earlier editions, and it may be that some of what you're reading refers to that.
agree with Avr.
Early edition did not require the spell to be anchored, and so you had more way to use the spell, like a tangle foot bag, or as a "Wall of Webs" spell. Which is how i say many people use it under 1st and 2nd ed.