Google is launching a new initiative called GoMo aimed at helping businesses build websites for the mobile age.
The key feature of GoMo is the GoMoMeter that lets users enter their website's address and get a free analysis of whether it's up to snuff for the mobile Web format. Among other things, the GoMoMeter lets users know their site's mobile load time, whether its images are loading properly, whether its text can be read without pinching and zooming and whether its links and buttons can be easily accessed by users' thumbs. It also gives a visual picture of how mobile users currently see the site.
RELATED: Cisco's forecast for mobile data
It should be noted that, at least at the outset, this feature has been extremely slow as it has taken us more than 40 minutes to load BBC News' website on the GoMoMeter. While you're waiting for your website to load, however, you'll be treated to mobility "factoids" such as, "More kids now know how to use a smartphone than tie their shoes," and, "More Americans own a mobile phone than have a passport."
Once you've seen your mobile websites plusses and minuses, Google presents you with a list of companies that specialize in mobile website development, including Netbiscuits, Mobify, Unbound Commerce and, yes, Google Site Builder. GoMo also lets you filter several options for how much you're willing to spend maintaining your mobile site, how long you are willing to wait for it to be built and whether you want to do it yourself or have another company do it for you.
Mobile data traffic has been increasing at a rapid pace over the past few years due to the rise of both smartphones and tablets. A Cisco study released earlier this year showed that mobile data traffic grew by 159% worldwide throughout 2010, or around 4.2 times faster than fixed data traffic grew over the same period. Among other things, Cisco projected that there will be more than 5.6 million mobile devices connected to mobile networks by the end of 2015, with video accounting for two-thirds of all mobile data traffic in 2015. All told, Cisco projected that mobile data traffic from video will grow 35-fold between 2010 and 2015.