Create a .mobi or an APP?

Create a .mobi or an APP?
.mobi ~ What is it? .mobi is a file extension that has been around for a few years. Many do not realize that it is around nor do many fully understand what this actually is. So let’s explore this file extension.

According to Wikipedia, .mobi is a top-level domain in the Domain Name System of the Internet. Its name is derived from mobile, indicating its use by mobile devices for accessing Internet resources via the Mobile Web. .mobi has been available since 2006 with many companies not taking advantage of this file extension. .mobi is a website that has been optimized for viewing on a mobile phone. Images, as well as screens, are much smaller than the average laptop or desk computer so there needs to be content adaptation.

The speed at which a website displays has always been an issue. With a mobile phone the speed issue intensifies. Mobile phone users want immediate results because the attention span (compared to home use) is shortened.

After speed, how one search the internet becomes the issue. Mobile users perform fewer overall searches because it takes more time to enter the information finding majority of the sites not optimized. Mobile keypads have improved drastically since 2005 when this study was conducted, yet many mobile users become easily frustrated with the slow loading, un-optimized sites that they give up. With the introduction of APP’s many retailers and media companies are finally seeing the need to design mobile web sites. Until recently retailers and corporations believed that the cell phone audience was minimal and the APP frenzy has caused them to rethink this belief.

Search ranking is important to every corporation, business and personal website. So how does .mobi help or hinder a website ranking? From preliminary results search rankings seem to be the same for the laptop/desktop vs. the mobile phone. Since many web sites have taken hold of the SEO mind set, many wonder if this is what keeps the search engine rankings the same. Google is probably one of the best examples of a mobile-optimized site. We just need the web sites to catch up with their search results that are rendered for easier viewing on cellular phones.

Google, which uses more than 200 key points to determine a rank, is constantly refining their algorithms so it would not be difficult to believe that .mobi will become a key point in the future. According to Stephen Spencer, VP of SEO strategies for Covario, believes that mobile optimized sites should be given a higher favorable ranking. This, however, does not seem to be the case today with Google’s search engine.

One key benefit of a .Mobi-optimized site vs. an APP is that .mobi is accessible on all mobile phones. It has been stated that mobile web may outpace APP’s in the near future because of their accessibility. iPhone APP’s need to be approved whereas .mobi does not so you will find many corporations opting for .mobi to avoid the approval process of iPhone. With the introduction Android (where approval process is not required at each step), this may not be the stumbling block it used to be.

My company writes APP’s for cell phones. They are powerful tools and continue to rise in popularity and strength. In our last meeting we discussed the .mobi and how we could incorporate both in our sales strategy. I firmly believe that there is a place for both. I firmly believe that a company needs a website, a .mobi and an APP (or multiple APP’s) to have a firm foundation in today’s market. How to achieve this balance is the tricky part.

As I continue to look into this .mobi market I will share what I learn with you. Until then. . .download an APP today and enjoy your smartphone!

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