Ground Truth: Lack of Standardization Around Mobile Web Conventions Presents Hurdles for Mobile Publishers
To attract the largest audience, mobile Web publishers must deploy across multiple domain standards
SEATTLE—July 15, 2010—Since the inception of the mobile Web, there has been no clear consensus around how the various mobile Web domains: "m.", "wap.", ".mobile" and ".mobi" should be used. In the first census-level analysis of mobile Web domains, Ground Truth today offers hard facts to inform this debate, finding a cacophony rather than a consensus: no single naming convention has emerged to adequately optimize consumer mobile browsing. Today's news reveals another hurdle for mobile Web publishers and developers, who must now create content for multiple Web domain conventions.
In the week ending July 4, 2010, Ground Truth measured 5.01 billion page views that included requests to 1,555,630 unique domains. The data shows that 18,934 (1.2 percent) of those measured domains and sub-domains were mobile-centric, such as "m.", "wap." and ".mobi", but 17.3 percent of total page views were served from those domains. The remaining pages were served from domains without a mobile-specific domain, such as "www." sites. Some of these sites, however, are mobile-aware, such as www.google.com, www.facebook.com, etc.
"Here's another situation where the mobile industry has done a disservice to itself by failing to develop standards around mobile Web development," said Evan Neufeld, vice president, marketing for Ground Truth. "The last thing publishers need is another roadblock to developing for mobile, and this data shows that there are at least three of them: 'm.', '.mobi' and 'wap.'."
|Mobile Web Domains by Naming Convention Week Ending July 4, 2010|
|Source: Ground Truth. Census of 3.06 million U.S. mobile subscribers for the week ending July 4, 2010. Copyright 2010. *Sub-domains and page views are not measures of the example domains provided.|
Of the mobile-centric domains, the prefix "m." and the ".mobi" suffix appear about equally, but sites using the "m." prefix serve 21 times more pages than do ".mobi" domains, Ground Truth reports. Following in popularity (by number of sub-domains) are the "mobile." prefix and legacy "wap." prefix. However, there is significant disparity of actual usage (as defined by page views) between them. The analysis shows that "wap." is nearly as commonly deployed by publishers as "mobile." but is used 68 times more by consumers.
According to Ground Truth, the least popular mobile-centric prefix by a large margin is "wireless.", showing up in only 37 domains, and serving just 127,110 pages.
"The bottom line is there is no consensus among mobile Web publishers for a mobile-centric naming convention," said Neufeld. "Publishers who want to ensure their mobile-optimized content is discovered would be advised to set up all three most-used sub domains: 'm.', 'mobile.' and 'wap.'. When available, the '.mobi' domain should be deployed as well. This study underscores the importance for publishers to serve optimized content for the device making the request--be it a PC, mobile phone, netbook or tablet; before they lose consumers to the frustration of accessing content that does not properly render on any given device. "
Because Ground Truth can accurately measure any mobile website using True View™, its patent-pending, census-based methodology, the firm provides precise site-level usage metrics across several measures, including: sessions per subscriber, pages per subscriber, pages per session and time per subscriber, on weekly basis. The Ground Truth syndicated data service delivers precise, actionable metrics through a dynamic, rich and user-friendly online interface.
About Ground Truth: Ground Truth is a mobile measurement firm that delivers the precise, timely and actionable mobile intelligence required for operators, advertisers and publishers to measure, optimize and grow their businesses. As the sole provider of actual usage data aggregated from millions of subscribers using True View™, a patent-pending census-based methodology, Ground Truth sets the benchmark for mobile Internet measurement. Ground Truth is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and is venture-backed by Emergence Capital Partners, OPENAIR Ventures, Steamboat Ventures and Voyager Capital. For more information about the company, please visit www.groundtruth.com.