31 Percent of Phone Users Browse the Mobile Web, Yet Few Sites Make the Grade
Yankee Group Awards First-Ever Passing Grades to Four Mobile Sites
The new report, "Best of the Anywhere Web 2009," does show, however, that mobile Web sites are making strides. Four sites—Google.com, Google.com/m/news, Yahoo.com and MLB.com—earn passing grades, marking the first time any site has scored above a 70 on Yankee Group’s Mobile Web Report Card.
"Unlike last year, most of the sites we reviewed adapt their content to many differing feature phones and smartphones. And some companies are also starting to incorporate location-awareness, something other sites should strive to emulate," said Carl Howe, director at Yankee Group and author of the report. Howe will present his findings this week at Mobile Internet World, part of 4G World 2009.
The evaluation of 27 mobile sites reveals:
- For news, Google and Yahoo show how it's done. Both companies earn passing grades of 73, striking an impressive balance in delivering enough information to mobile users without overwhelming them. Other news sites, however, still struggle with leveraging mobile context and site discoverability.
- For sports, MLB.com hits it out of the park. Major League Baseball's site scores an impressive 71 for its device detection and ability to tailor content to fit mobile screens. Competitors Rivals.com (58) and ESPN.com (57) score a close second and third.
- For search, Google is tops, but Yahoo's a close second. Google's mobile search site, with its minimalist interface, format-specific device detection and location- awareness, earns an 81, the highest mark given to any mobile Web site so far. Yahoo also earns a passing grade of 76, hindered only by small factors like extraneous content and HTML validation errors.
- For mobile carriers, all need improvement. Sprint's site is a bit out of date, but it does help mobile users find Sprint stores and call the carrier, earning it a score of 53. Other national carrier sites still ignore mobile Web users who aren't their customers, forcing consumers back to their desktops to view their services.
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