Google Launches Mobile Web Search
Google has just extended its Mobile web service, with amongst other things, mobile-web search. The mobile-web search page lists only true mobile-web pages; xhtml, imode or wap formats. Mobile phone users now see mobile-readable pages only. The service is a big improvement on the initial service which provided xhtml translations of normal web pages.
Google's new launch comes a month after the launch of the .mobi top level domain categories which are reserved for mobile-phone only web sites. Dot-mobi will be the first top-level domain to require its customers to stick to rules on how their users' websites are developed. The mobile-web pages must conform to the following:
- Responses to URLs must be encoded in XHTML (WAP 2.0). This is to ensure the premium usability of the site for visitors using their mobile devices.
- .MOBI sites must implement a page at the second level domain. This is to eliminate the need to type in “www” when browsing .mobi sites from a mobile device. For example, the web server should be able to respond to HTTP requests to www.mydomainname.com and to mydomainname.com.
- No frames
Check out Eucap incubation team's first experiment of a mobile service mobile weather forecast.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is also redoubling its efforts to standardize mobile web content languages. The aim is he mobile-web to be as easily accessible as the world wide web. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the internet protocols html-http, is prioritizing the new mobile web xhtml protocol just as much as the standard internet protocol html.
Not to be outdone, competing search service, Ask, has also launched its mobile.ask.com. Unfortunately, Ask has yet to index the mobile-web, it is still providing a mobile-format translation of normal web sites. A much poorer service.
Just to confirm the mobile-web is coming of age, mobile-web advertising has also arrived. Google now provides Adwords for mobile advertising. Google's main mobile advertising competitor, Admobs.com, is boasting of over 200m mobile page impressions a month on their network of mobile web sites. Our tests show CPC and CPMs are still comparatively low, but the potential is huge.
Unlocking Mobile Phones for the Entire Mobile Web
Another issue for mobile web browsers is that mobile phone operators control the home page sites menus displayed on each mobile device. The user has a very limited range of sites that he can easily access. However with the new generation of smartphones and 3G, phone owners should recover control of their browsing, and surfing on a mobile should open fully to the entire mobile-web.