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Named and shamed: big sites that look bad on mobile

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Posted by mobiThinking - 04 Nov 2008
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Bango took a look at the 20 busiest PC sites using common mobiles from the UK and US and in 10 cases they didn’t like what they found. These included cheer leaders for the mobile web.

The big shame is that several of those named have dedicated mobile sites – see: FoxNews.mobi; wapedia.mobi; mobile.microsoft.com; mobile.ask.com– but the PC site didn’t redirect mobile visitors. What a waste.

Some mobile operators – eg Vodafone UK – will transcode PC websites to make them more readable on a phone. Where this doesn’t happen, the mobile user may be greeted with a 413 error “Page cannot be displayed”: this occurred on an AT&T mobile in the US on Fox.com, Microsoft.com and Apple.com.
Why does this matter? Well, Bango – a mobile analytics specialist – believes that 3-10 percent of PC web visitors are mobile, but most sites don’t know it.

And you should expect the number of your mobile visitors to grow. Recent research from IBM's Institute for Business Value finds that over 50 percent of consumers would substitute their Internet usage on a PC for a mobile device.

Singled out for particular praise from Bango were Yahoo.com – which recognized and adapted to the type of phone – and MSN.com (Microsoft).

Bango’s message is: “If you have a mobile site then make sure your PC site detects a mobile device and presents the made-for mobile version.” We agree.

For help fixing the redirect issue see this article on our shamelessly techie sister-site mobiForge.com

Looking good on mobile: ebay.com; youtube.com; aol.com; msn.com; yahoo.com; google.com; amazon.com; weather.com; facebook.com; cnn.com

Not looking good: fox.com; microsoft.com; wikipedia.org; apple.com; about.com; ask.com; blogger.com; realnetworks.com; glammedia.com; craigslist.org

Bango’s test was undertaken using a Motorola V3 Razr and Nokia 6300 on Vodafone in the UK and AT&T in the US on the top 20 biggest traffic sites (Nielsen, July 2008). More lessons from the test, with photos, here.

What sites look good and bad on your phone? Comment below.


Posted by mobiThinking - 04 Nov 2008

mobiThinking's picture

mobiThinking focuses on everything you need to know on the business of mobile and web. With an exhaustive compendium of mobile statistics, practical guides to mobile agencies, ad networks, top mobile markets and more; interviews and analysis, industry events and awards.

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