Over the weekend Fusible.com surfaced several domain registrations from Google that suggested Google was creating a mobile site builder or portal. Then yesterday several outlets picked up on the Fusible post. Today Google is formally launching a mobile site development portal dubbed HowToGoMo.
It provides education, case studies and best practices for marketers large and small that don’t yet have mobile sites. (Google has made a mobile optimized site or landing page part of its ad quality ranking factors.) GoMo also features an emulator where you can see how your site looks on a smartphone. (Google is telling me this is the most popular area of the site currently.)
It’s pretty slick overall and part of Google’s general maturation as a marketing entity.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the site is a kind of shopping wizard with a list of mobile site vendors. (Do you want a DIY site or DIFM? How much do you want to spend?) There are about 12 vendors listed in alpha order. Google’s own mobile site builder is there but it’s just one of many.
Google also does a plug for Google Places and Mobile Ads of course. But the site should be seen in the context of Google’s rather ambitious, larger push around mobile optimization.
In general this site and Google’s other mobile initiatives are intended to accelerate the pace of mobile site and landing page adoption. In March of this year Google reported that the overwhelming majority (79%) of its top advertisers didn’t have a mobile-optimized site. But a new report from a firm called the Acquity Group found that 37% of the Internet Retailer 500 now have one.
In a very general sense the more sites are optimized for mobile, the more people will use the mobile internet. And right now mobile internet adoption and mobile search benefits Google disproportionately vs. its immediate rivals. Google recently announced that it had achieved a $2.5 mobile advertising run rate, with search being the largest contributor.