The "mobile web" is a blanket term for the type of web surfing done on mobile devices, whether it be a smartphone or tablet device. A huge issue for the mobile web is lack of content and websites that are optimized for these devices, which have smaller screens and touch interfaces. Some innovative web publishers have launched mobile sites, but Google wants to assist the ones who desire a mobile-enabled website, but lack the resources to build one alone.
Not All Web Content Is the Same, On Mobile
Mobile web users have needs that make phones and tablets require a new web user experience. Most smartphones have touchscreens in which users tap, drag and read on tiny screens. Therefore, small text and poorly sized buttons can hinder a mobile user's ability to get information when trying to make a decision from where to buy a dinner or which product to buy on a company's website.
To illustrate the point succinctly, see the following images, a screenshot from an IPod Touch showing a traditional website crammed into a mobile screen on the left and a mobile-optimized website shown on the right-hand side.
As you can see, the site on the right, with its much larger font and touchable, larger links require no pinching or zooming.
Smartphone usage is skyrocketing, as smartphone adoption is now inching toward 35% in the United States and 50% in the UK. As a result, these mobile users expect to be able to browse the web on their devices. For enterprise websites and even consumer sites, the need to "go mobile" has never been stronger. Especially with holiday shopping coming up, mobile shoppers are now comparing and contrasting brands and products while on the go.
Google to the Rescue
For a web admin or team to build a mobile-optimized site or subsite, this requires resources, both human and financial. The task of going mobile may seem like a good one in theory, but day-to-day demands require teams to accomplish other projects. Google aims to help. With the launch of a new service called GOMO (the abbreviation of Go Mobile), the search giant wants to help site owners build a mobile-optimized site using existing assets on your web site.
The GOMO site is now live with resources to help web publishers take the initiative of launching a mobile web optimized site. On GOMO, publishers can see what their site looks like on mobile browsers, find a mobile site developer for their business needs and even start building a mobile site using vendors/developer to get started.
To help web publishers, Google has long had the Google Mobile Optimizer, but this is a crude utility that merely strips down views into a mobile view that creates. Also, the mobile website builder assists in building mobile sites from the ground up using templates for those using Google Sites as a web hosting platform.
Google's Vested Interest
Google has a good reason for helping businesses "go mobile." With more mobile users out there toting iPads and smartphones, mobile ads, especially those more relevant based on location, are a lucrative advertising market. Google wishes to get AdWords onto the device in your pocket or briefcase.
Would you use GOMO to help you build your mobile website? If you have a mobile-focused website, has it been a positive for your business or organization?