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Though it's still early days I am already advertising my new .mobi domain on AdWords with the "mobile" ad format.
But there is no (XHTML-mobile-compliant) AdSense available, possibly because it would have to be included on the server side (as many of us would like to be able to do with ordinary AdSense for other reasons).
In other words: even if you could attract enough visitors to your .mobi domain, and if you could display an Adsense ad, and if a visitor clicks the ad, the landing page still must be optimized for mobile. I don't see this for the next year or two.
Just my $0.02
1) Mobile devices are only now beginning to have all necessary components for a successful mobile Internet story - Large and bright displays, sufficient bandwidth, and suitable standby time. But these devices are still the minority.
2) Mobile websites are still in their infancy. People may know that they exist, but they do not look for the pages actively. I guess the main reason for this is, that they have been disappointed (by the promise of WAP being the "mobile Internet") before.
Combine these two, and you know that the mobile Internet is not going anywhere soon. The technology is here, but the content must follow. Otherwise the mobile Internet will suffer the same niche life as it did until now.
Regarding the .mobi domain - I have not seen a single statement that convinces me that it will lift off. Here's why:
- Content providers need to comply with the .mobi specifications within 60 days after they (the .mobi guys) have changed these specs. This may be fine for larger content providers with big IT/programming departments, but for smaller content providers this can be challenging. On the other hand, if you ARE a big content provider, you do not NEED a .mobi domain. Your content will be demanded anyhow. It does not matter whether it is hosted on .mobi or on wap.mycompany.com or on www.mycompany.com/mobile - people will find you. In these cases you do not need .mobi, but it turns out that .mobi needs you.
- What benefits does a content provider get from the .mobi domain in the first place? Does he get preferred listings with search engines? Does he get preferred listings with mobile operator portals? Does he get an automated revenue share from network operators? Nope. The only advantage is that people see immediately that the site is designed/compatible with mobile devices. Cool, isn't it?
- The .mobi domain has been discussed for some time now, and still it has not become a hype (yet) among content providers. They are still struggling to tame the Internet. They simply do not worry about the mobile space.
So, in my view, you can easily sit back and wait whether .mobi lifts off and then still jump on the bandwagon to monetize. :-)
Again, you could be right.
But there are always lots of reasons to say that something new can't or won't work...
The main reason that I think that .mobi has legs is that essentially the ONLY requirements imposed/suggested are to make the sites user-friendly (such as low page-weight, and that there must be a working "example.mobi" if you have "www.example.mobi"), and this is a chance for the telcos and handset manufacturers to do right what they SO badly burned their fingers on before with "mobile internet".
Telcos in particular badly want a data-based revenue stream other than voice, and if they do this right then .mobi might be a big part of that. After all, most phone users hardly/never use GPRS or 3G, with all that telco investment wasted...
Telcos in particular badly want a data-based revenue stream other than voice...
Are Telcos aware that a new revenue stream is latent within those cell phones? I have no idea. But if they were aware of the income potential, you would think they'd get moving on providing the ideal environment (hardware & software) for delivering advertising.