而那些早就迅速紧跟这股移动潮流的企业，它们的努力似乎已经收到了回报。6年前，职业棒球大联盟（Major League Baseball）就组建了一支3个人的团队专门从事手机和无线技术业务。现在，这支队伍已经扩大到近50人，而大联盟每月的无线访问量——包括广受欢迎的“At Bat”应用和手机网站的访问量——已让其官网访问量相形见绌。去年，仅“At Bat”每周平均访问量就达到了820万人次。
Google launched a new service today allowing companies to transform their websites for viewing on smartphones. The search engine giant hopes that by making sites more accessible, it can improve its lead in the rapidly growing mobile arena.
Google's (GOOG) new service is part of its "Go Mobile" initiative, a campaign to move companies in the direction of making better use of mobile platforms including phones and tablets. For $9 a month, Google will host a mobile-friendly version of a company's website with a touch-enabled interface that almost looks like an iPhone app. Firms can test the service free for a year and customize a new mobile site Google generates from their existing site. "Anybody who has browsed a regular website on their phone knows how bad the experience is," says Dennis Mink, CMO of DudaMobile, a startup. Google is using DudaMobile's technology to generate the sites.
Mexicue, a New York City based food truck and restaurant chain, is using the service. The company's current site gets about 5,000 page views a week, but prior to optimizing the site for mobile, it lacked any sort of easy navigation. That was a problem, says co-founder and CEO David Schillace. "A working mobile site is extremely important for our food truck because it's constantly changing locations," he says. "The first two buttons allow people to call us and find us, which is basically what all our customers need to know," Schillace says.
Google has a strong lead in mobile. Nearly half of U.S. mobile users now own a smartphone, according to Nielsen (NLSN). About half are using phones running Google's Android operating system. The search leader's latest move is an attempt to extend its reach further. The company is already the dominant player in the mobile $1.45 billion ad market, accounting for more than of U.S. mobile ad revenues in 2011, according to digital marketing firm eMarketer.
Google sees an opportunity in helping companies optimize their sites for the mobile web. Even with the advent of fully capable browsers on current smartphones, many companies are still failing to take even the first step into the mobile space, says Jason Spero, head of mobile sales and strategy at Google. According to Spero, 62% of Google's top advertisers don't have a mobile site. "Businesses are kind of late to arrive to this consumer trend, and a large part of that is because they don't know exactly what to do," Spero says.
For companies who were quick to jump on the mobile bandwagon, the effort seems to have paid off. Major League Baseball began six years ago with a staff of three focusing on mobile and wireless technology. Today, that team has grown to nearly 50 people and the brand's monthly wireless traffic -- including the popular "At Bat" app and mobile site -- has eclipsed MLB.com traffic. By itself, "At Bat" averaged 8.2 million visits per week last year.