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Search engines fail users in finding mobile sites: Mobi Tech

Mobi Tech International Inc. has tossed its hat into the ring of mobile search with the release of the Mobi iNet mobile application, challenging category leaders Google and Yahoo to a fight.

Mobi iNet is available for download in Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market, with scheduled releases to BlackBerry App World, Palm Catalog, Nokia Ovi and Windows Mobile Marketplace in the coming months. New technology development in smartphone devices, faster transmissions by data carriers coupled with the invitation for third-party software development has created a perfect storm for explosive mobile industry growth, according to Mobi Tech International.

"First and foremost we wanted to solve the frustrating problem of finding mobile-optimized Web sites and content," said Ron Duggar, president of Mobi Tech International, Salt Lake City, UT. "What's the point of a company spending the time and money to mobile-optimize their Web site if no one can find it?

"The existing search engines have failed both users and companies in finding mobile Web sites and we know that users will support an application that solves this obvious expectation," he said. "Once we have solved this problem, we will tackle the next problem with mobile search."

Mobi Tech International says that improving handset technology has allowed smaller start-ups like itself to get into the game.

"Internet searching for years has favored the companies that have the broadest reach and the most money to market their Web site," Mr. Duggar said. "This left small local businesses effectively out of the game.

"Smartphones and the mobile Internet have leveled the playing field," he said.

Mobi iNet is developing a feature that will change search results from returning the World Wide Web into the Where Wide Web or, in other words, the nearby businesses with mobile-optimized Web sites instead of the familiar national and international sites.

Mobi iNet will be ad-supported, but there are other elements to Mobi Tech International's monetization strategy.

"The primary monetization is advertising, but revenue will also come from mobile optimization services, app sales and affiliate programs with Web sites like and many other shopping sites," Mr. Duggar said. "It is not likely that we will use a preferred placement model now or in the future.

"There will never be a fee to have your mobile-optimized Web site listed in Mobi iNet," he said. "Advertising in relationship to Web site viewing is the primary way that companies can reach Mobi iNet's users and consumers.

"We are considering a model which would include pre-purchased ad units and a monthly ad subscription."

Mobi iNet will partner with mobile ad networks and handle some ad sales on its own.

"We are completing the finishing touches on our own ad server, but Mobi iNet will serve ads from multiple ad networks as well," Mr. Duggar said.

Mobi Tech International's market research has revealed that searching on a smartphone is quite different than on a computer.

The early users of Mobi iNet have discovered that they use Google or other search engines far less on their smartphone than they do when they are at their computer.

The two most common reasons for this are that typing is just not as fast on a smartphone and that the existing search engines do not always return mobile friendly Web sites and content, according to Mobi Tech.

The company claims that mobile search needed to improve due to the fact that companies are converting their full desktop Web sites into mobile-friendly sites.

The problem is that more times than not the trusted Internet search engines like Google continue to return search results on smartphones that direct you to full desktop Web sites and not mobile-friendly sites, according to Mobi Tech.

It only takes a person one experience of viewing a mobile-friendly Web site over a full desktop site to discover which site they would prefer viewing while on their smartphone.

If you can't beat ?em, integrate ?em
Mobi Tech recognizes that people will still want to use Google or Yahoo, so the company has included the mobile-friendly versions of these search engines and others right inside Mobi iNet under the category "Search Engines."

Mobi Tech believes that while on a smartphone some people will want to use a standard search engine some of the time, but most people will want to use the mobile-friendly search of Mobi iNet most of the time.

Mobi iNet gives the user several options to navigate the mobile Internet: browse by category, alphabetical order, keyword search or bookmarked favorites.

Web sites found in Mobi iNet are submitted by companies, developers and users themselves.

Developers at Mobi Tech have already started working on features that will be included in future updates, which include sorting by "What's New," "What's Hot" and "Local Search."

Mobi Tech is also developing companion applications designed to help businesses convert their full desktop Web sites into mobile-optimized sites.

"Mobi Tech, the owner of Mobi iNet, considers its self a vested partner in the proliferation of everything mobile," Mr. Duggar said. "Mobi iNet is one of several mobile applications currently being developed by Mobi Tech to advance the mobile community.

"We want everyone that is working within the mobile community to succeed," he said. "Our marketing tactics are to promote our solutions to the mobile community.

"We will be using all of the following tools to promote ourselves: micro-blogging, email campaigns, public relations, press releases, partnerships, affiliate programs and even a direct sales force representing our optimization services as well as advertising accounts."