A Closer Look At The .mobi Top Level Domain

This is another addition to my series of posts concerning top level domain names (TLDs or domain extension).

Yesterday, I looked at why I believe the .CO TLD (.CO) is the success it was and still is today. Today I want to look another TLD.

.mobi TLD

The .mobi TLD (.mobi) I believe did not share the same level of success as .CO. I will examine what I believe went wrong with .mobi in this article.

The dotmobi.mobi website states:
.mobi is the first – and only – top-level internet domain designed to help users find Web content that will work on their mobile phones. Intuitive, easy to use, and universally recognized, the .mobi domain is your opportunity to reach a worldwide audience with information about yourself, your ideas, or your business on the mobile phone.

I had to read that statement a few times and I am not entirely sure if I get what it is trying to say. I am not sure when it was written. It may have had more meaning and relevance a few years ago, but it is more of a mystery now.

My understanding is that .mobi was created to help websites owners target web users who were using their mobile devices to browse the internet.

The concept here is not a bad idea as such. After all, more and more people are using their smart phones and tablets to browse the internet on the go. This means that people are not restricted to the use of desktop PCs and laptops.

Not All Sites Are Mobile Friendly

All smart phones and tablets have browsers. The only fundamental difference with the usage of mobile phones to browse websites is that some sites are not mobile friendly.

Some sites appear in the same format as it would on a desktop pc or laptop, making it hard to view and navigate the different elements of the web pages.

If .mobi had a solution to magically fix this issue for website owners, then they would indeed have an enviable advantage.

However, even if there was such a magical solution, the best and most effective mobile-friendly web pages would have to be specially designed. This is especially so for ecommerce and dynamic/database-driven sites, such as a shopping or travel booking site.

Mobile Friendly Sites Do Not Need Another Domain or TLD

The technology exists today to detect the type of browser a website visitor is using. The technology also exists to automatically redirect the visitor to another website/web page that is specially created for the visitor’s browser.

As such, if such a website detects that the user is browsing with a smart phone, it can automatically redirect the user to a mobile friendly page such as:
example.com/m,
m.example.com or
example.com?m=1

This would mean that the website owner does not need to invest in another TLD or domain name. This also means that the website user does not need to specifically type in a mobile-friendly URL or domain name.

Introduction of Apps

Most brands are opting to create apps for their mobile users. Most, if not all brands do this on top of their mobile friendly sub-sites on their existing websites.

Promotion

Brands have their hands full with having to promote their Facebook pages and their Twitter accounts along with their main websites. It would be quite cumbersome to have to promote the main website and a mobile friendly website at the same time or in the same advert.

Conclusion

A lot of brands would simply not find it necessary to own and operate a separate website on .mobi for their mobile audience.

Nonetheless, some brands do. These include:
norton.mobi
barclays.mobi
nextbuses.mobi

4 Comments on A Closer Look At The .mobi Top Level Domain

  1. I think we will see some increases in registrations and sales of .mobi with the introduction of all the gTLD

  2. The .MOBI domain was designed as part of a complete infrastructure to bring mobile content to life.

    The dotMobi company — a wholly owned subsidiary of Afilias — is also behind two market-leading, award-winning products: goMobi (for building sites that work on all computers and mobile devices) and DeviceAtlas (for device detection — what’s being described above under “Mobile Friendly Sites Do Not Need Another Domain or TLD”).

    Today, there are more than one million .MOBI domains actively registered and .MOBI ranks as the world’s sixth-largest gTLD.

    • @Vance,
      Thank you for your comment.

      I have checked out goMobi and DeviceAtlas. They are indeed very impressive products. I believe those 2 services are on the right track. The world is going mobile as more and more people are using smart phones and tablets. eBusinesses and brands will increasingly need to employ such technologies in order to create mobile-friendly websites for their audience and customers.

  3. I see no diff between .mobi and the new gtlds.

    Same chip different dip. Both are destined to spend eternity in the Wikipedia graveyard.

    I see no value to either.

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