According to the Mobile Press-Register and other local sources, Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) recently approached local marketing firms and the Downtown Mobile Alliance to begin to “Mobilize Mobile.” Most likely playing on the name of the city, Mobile reportedly will be the first to be a part of a program named “GoMo” launching November 14 where local businesses, both private and nonprofit, will be able to come to a Google storefront, have a mobile-browser based website created for them within half an hour and also have Google host the website for one year on a first-come, first-served basis.
From the Press-Register:
The Google storefront will be at Space 301, across from Cathedral Square, according to Carol Hunter, representative for the Downtown Mobile Alliance said.
Having a city that shares a name with a tech buzzword hasn’t always been fortuitous, as anyone who has searched online for “Mobile phone company” or “Mobile apps” could tell you. Not to mention all the time residents spend telling out-of-towners that they are from “Mo-beel,” not “Mo-buhl,” Hunter said.
“If you are not thinking about getting mobile with your website, then in the near future you’re going to be behind,” Hunter said. “This is an opportunity for us to really be ahead of that curve.”
No doubt that the south Alabama area could use the attention. However, no sources on the Internet tie the event to the website HowToGoMo.com. There’s no doubt that Google intends to do something with the website because they did register it, but the website remains under password protection so no one really knows what it’s for.
Despite a few websites registered by Google, it’s perhaps Google’s re-branding attempt at drawing attention to the mobile world we are evolving into. Millions rely on smartphone devices to find food, entertainment, directions, keep up with social media and communicate in ways we never thought would be possible.
If you’re looking to get a website created for a mobile phone, Google already has the Google Sites – Mobile Templates website available where you can choose templates for your business, add information and have a live mobile browser website finished in minutes.
So what’s our take on this? It probably will happen. To have a Google storefront in Mobile, Alabama would be awesome as-is. On the other hand, there’s probably a silver lining. Google is notorious for monetizing websites using AdWords. We expect ads. Not only that, but having a site that’s more than likely template-based and not created by a professional website design company is more than likely going to bring the quality of the site down. So, in terms of search optimization, if it’s going to be free and hosted at Google, you’re going to get what you pay for especially if you don’t have control over your content. GeoCities Mobile anyone?
All attempts to confirm this information were made at the time of the article, however neither Google nor our contacts in the Silicon Valley area were aware of the event.