What’s the best mobile domain: m., .mobi or /m?

What’s the best mobile domain: m., .mobi or /m?

A client of ours was curious about mobile marketing for their plastic surgery practice. They have seen m.example.com and example.mobi and even example.com/m, but what was the best? And what’s the affect on SEO for their plastic surgery practice? For the sake of easy reading m. will be referred to as m-dot, .mobi is dot-mobi, and /m shall be slash-m.

BOTTOM LINE ON DIFFERENCE
Using either m-dot or slash-m will work as long as the media queries (the technical term for code that determines the type of device that is requesting access to the site) are up-to-date and redirect to the appropriate place.

Do NOT use a separate domain, like dot-mobi. Even if example.com redirected to example.mobi, it’s one more piece of “stuff” that you have to buy and maintain. Adding a dot-m or slash-m to your existing domain is free. And for that reason, everyone should do either the m-dot or slash-m.

IN-DEPTH EXPLANATION OF DIFFERENCE

m-dot is the most common mobile designation. It has been adopted by Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo!.  It is close to becoming as standard as a dot-com. If your average savvy surfer was looking for a mobile version of a site, they’ll try m-dot, because it’s that common a convention at this point.

Slash-m is not significantly different. It’s like a dot-org or dot-net in terms of popularity. But Google uses a variation, google.com/mobile/ios. This has a certain logic to it: as more devices emerge, the file structure can be anticipated. If Google had a specific tablet layout, I’m sure they’d use google.com/tablet/ios. It also allows them to precisely code for android or iOS, so their code stays lighter and the user-experience is specific to their device. This sort of file structure is currently in vogue with search engines as it is easier for a computer to map the site and experience, but there does not appear to be any SEO advantage for one over the other.

An m-dot has logic as well, like the upside down ! mark at the beginning of Spanish sentences that lets you know the sentence to come is an exclamation. It’s very obvious what is going on and very common.

Dot-mobi is like dot-net in terms of popularity and utility. Dot-net was supposed to be for networks, dot-org for organizations and dot-com for commercial properties. But today, those distinctions have blurred. And for that reason, purchasing an additional domain does not make sense when a sub-domain or directory is free.

About John Gottshalk

John obsesses over technology news, hunting for the latest gem of information that will help our clients stand out from their competition and stay on the cutting edge. In addition to co-developing and co-teaching the DIY SEO Course, John focuses on copy writing, email marketing and WordPress development.

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