Time to push travel into mobile web

Howard Furr-Barton, managing director of Brand Attention, a market research firm, thinks online travel players are missing a huge trick by not focusing on how their brand fares on a mobile technology front.

A new study by the company found that firms would be well-advised to take the mobile web, and their placement in mobile search results, more seriously.

When inputting a company name into Google.co.uk, the research reveals 7% of FTSE 100 companies’ home pages do not appear in the first page of search results. “A high figure, but low in comparison to the 93% that appear on Google Mobile Web UK,” the survey says.

Technology firms still have a bad taste in their mouth from WAP, the first attempt to bring the web to mobile phones. WAP did not live up to expectations, and it’s been slow going ever since, despite mobile manufacturers’ producing technology that is an ideal fit for web-surfing.

One online travel pundit observes that, with the coming of age of mobile platforms, standards for defining what traffic is and how to treat it will be even more important. With products like the iPhone the number of people who use their mobiles to search and book travel will reach a critical mass.

“The possibility of duplication of user numbers and confusing terminology will make reliable standards of measurement a must if we are to build upon the trust of new media.”

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