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Google Mobile deadline approaching, but you don’t want to use .Mobi

Responsive design, not a separate website, is key to going mobile.

On April 21, Google’s search rankings will undergo a “significant” change on mobile devices. Websites that are mobile friendly will get a big leg up on those that aren’t.

The .Mobi domain name wants to take advantage of this, and tweeted this today:

Let me be frank: using a .mobi domain name is a bad idea.

.Mobi was an interesting idea, almost prescient when it originally came out in 2006. Mobile web browsing was about to take off with the iPhone coming out a year later. But the mobile web has change dramatically, primarily thanks to responsive design.

The need for a separate domain name to host mobile content has passed. Using a separate domain name, such as .mobi, is a really bad idea. Instead, your existing website — which already has search rankings — should be made responsive.

One site, not two. One site to optimize for search, one site to publish all content.

.Mobi’s days are numbered.

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  1. John says

    .tel is much better and easier to use. Even if you have no knowledge of programming you can create a simple .tel page in minutes. You can also add video and pictures to it

  2. Sam says

    Thank you for posting this! I hate sites without responsive design… or any site that doesn’t fully use all the greatness of CSS3 in modern browsers, sites that continue to build for IE6…

  3. Kurt Pritz says

    Hi Andrew:

    I was with you until the closing mantra: “One site, not two. One site to optimize for search, one site to publish all content.”

    I realize your article targeted the .mobi technical model that was a novel approach when ICANN’s sTLD process launched in 2003 but was made largely obsolete by the time the .mobi TLD launched in 2006. As a meaningful domain name extension .mobi is quite a viable alternative for an individual or company that wants to express a “mobile first” approach to the Web.

    Beyond the style guidelines and mobile compatibility tests, .mobi was always about the name: identifying content that would work well on a small device. Today many companies are targeting customers who are only available via phone. Regardless of the once recommended technical aspect, .mobi remains a viable domain extension that quite clearly means “mobile.”

    Domain names with meaning have tremendous marketing and branding value that will drive traffic to one’s site. The DNA’s recent global survey supports that belief. (http://www.thedna.org/pr_20150204.php). The new choices currently available enable organizations to target audiences. Domain names using semantic combinations, geographical names, or identification with communities give web page owners new options for attracting audiences. Internet users will be attracted to and visit sites using names meaningful to them.

    As a website owner, your content might be in one place but what matters is that your audience can find you; they remember where to find you. Studies have shown that domain names using semantic combinations are more easily found through search. So (depending on your definition Andrew), one site, but many names to get there, whichever make it easy for your customers.

    I know you were writing about the technical .mobi application specifically and not about the utility and value of domain names (.mobi and others). I wrote just to make that clear.

    Thanks and regards,

    Kurt Pritz

  4. skibetterRoland LaPlante says

    Hi Andrew,

    I agree with Kurt’s comments completely. Also, as ComScore reported in 2014, mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop internet usage. Companies today have to focus on this shift and understand that mobile users exhibit very different behavior from desktop users. Retrofitting desktop content to a mobile site will no longer best meet mobile users’ needs.

    .mobi is more relevant now than ever: memorable and meaningful, it more clearly identifies content that is dedicated to mobile devices—and mobile customers– than any other address. For companies who target the mobile users, .mobi enables them to differentiate and market their content tailored to this audience effectively.

    The name matters.

    Best regards,

    Roland LaPlante
    Afilias, the .MOBI Registry Operator

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