PC world not keeping up with the mobile web

When Bango surveyed the Top 20 most trafficked PC websites (according to Nielsen Online), we found that half of the sites did not work well on leading mobile phones. Tests were carried out on the Motorola V3 Razr and Nokia 6300 on the AT&T network in the US and Vodafone in the UK. The full results are detailed below.

This is a worrying trend given that typically 5% of visitors to PC websites now come from mobile devices, up from 1% a year ago. The problem is that PC websites are not adapting fast enough to match mobile browsing trends and are failing to present mobile-friendly versions of their sites.

Top 20 most trafficked PC websites, July 2008, Nielsen Online:

Works well on mobile Does not work well on mobile
eBay
www.ebay.com
Fox
www.fox.com
YouTube
www.youtube.com
Microsoft
www.microsoft.com
AOL
www.aol.com
Wikipedia
www.wikipedia.org
MSN
www.msn.com
Apple
www.apple.com
Yahoo
www.yahoo.com
About
www.about.com
Google
www.google.com
Ask
www.about.ask.com
Amazon
www.amazon.com
Blogger
www.blogger.com
Weather
www.weather.com
Real Networks
www.realnetworks.com
Facebook
www.facebook.com
Glam Media
www.glammedia.com
CNN
www.cnn.com
Craigslist
www.craigslist.org

Some of these sites may have mobile versions – in which case, why didn’t they direct me to the mobile site? Bango’s research reveals that between 3-10% of on-line traffic to a PC website now comes from users entering web addresses on their mobile device. If you have clients struggling to see the benefit of having a mobile presence you can give them the opportunity to see how much traffic is accessing their PC website from a mobile device by getting them to use Bango Analytics for PCs. It’s easy for them to implement and helps them decide whether they should move into mobile..

When an AT&T user in the US visited the Fox, Microsoft or Apple PC sites, they were simply presented with a 413 error “Page cannot be displayed”. The experience for a UK user on Vodafone was somewhat better because the transcoder did present the PC site but as to you see with the Wikipedia example, it requires a lot of scrolling to get to the part you want and this is definitely not a good user experience.

I was particularly impressed with the Yahoo mobile site as it recognized my device and presented me with a great user experience, as did the MSN service (so not all bad news for Microsoft!).

Poor experience:

The Apple PC site for an AT&T user

The Apple PC site for an AT&T user

The poor Wikipedia user experience

The poor Wikipedia user experience

Good experience:

Yahoo detects my mobile device and even knows which one

Yahoo detects my mobile device and even knows which one

The MSN service on my mobile

The MSN service on my mobile

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