Websites specifically for mobile users? Their days are numbered, if new research is any indication.
An Mdot site was probably just a stop gap on the way to better integrations. What is it? It’s a website specifically made for mobile, with a different user interface and size than a desktop website, but offering the same content.
But a recent report from Pure Oxygen Labs suggests they’re on the wane.
“Dynamic serving and responsive design mobile sites are expected to rise while dedicated mdot sites will slide further as marketers look for more efficient and scalable methods of mobile optimization,” according to its recent report.
“From 2013 to 2014, mdot sites decreased from 79 percent to 59 percent, while dynamic serving and responsive design sites increased from 12 to 15 percent and 3 to 9 percent, respectively,” the report reads. “While fewer marketers are using these solutions at the current time, Pure Oxygen Labs’ research suggests they will move toward these capabilities to increase search engine optimization.”
“The biggest challenge with dynamic serving is the level of effort,” said Brian Klais, founder and CEO of Pure Oxygen Labs. “By nature, it integrates mobile content serving into the core web server and page logic.
“This often requires a concerted effort among senior developers,” Klais explained. “If you can accept the implementation hurdle, dynamic serving (including responsive design that incorporates server-side detection) will comply with Google’s mobile SEO rules more easily The dynamically served mobile pages can solve for responsive design’s load speed issues, while avoiding the mobile SEO requirements of mdot sites.”
Pure Oxygen Labs’ data came from a survey of the top 500 retailers as listed in Internet Retailer’s 2014 Mobile 500 guide. At the time — amazingly — 14 percent of these retailers had no mobile web presence whatsoever.
In sum, Pure Oxygen Labs experts think dynamic serving solutions are the best because they use a single URL, device-optimized layout, and fast-loading pages that are easy to maintain and effective for mobile SEO.
“Brands should offer whatever mobile Web type that works for their users – not just for Google,” Klais said. “However, since Google is helping define the ground rules, conducting a mobile SEO audit can be a helpful place to start by identifying gaps and the levels of effort to remedy. To that point, mdot sites have, by far and away, the most numerous mobile SEO compliance issues.”