An Open Letter to Google: “Page adapted for mobile phone?” Please stop now, you are crippling sites, not adapting pages.

Dear Google,

I just used Google on various mobile devices (i.e. a Nokia 6600, Sony w800, and Motorola RAZR V3) to search for my service Winksite.com. Rather than link to Winksite directly the results instead link to a reformatted version that in Google’s words is “adapted for mobile phone”.

You’re assuming way too much power in hijacking Winksite and replacing it with your own version. The 15-screen, bastardized version of the site that you deliver is not even close to what WE want to deliver or what our audience expects to receive. Let me explain.

From my perspective, the issue is not that Google unilaterally strips away eye candy only to deliver a hodgepodge of text on mobile devices. It is that you remove user access to mobile-specific services on which ours and many other businesses are based. By default, your actions censor those of us who provide a unique and/or useful mobile experience.

The mobile web and its proponents were in place for years before Google “discovered” the mobile web and started to hijack it. Individuals, small development teams, and companies that respect and value the mobile audience provide mobile sites and services designed for that audience. With a bit of browser detection, Winksite and others send these visitors to either mobile optimized versions of their sites or even mobile phone-specific services. Google mobile web search intercepts and overrides that detection, context, and delivery. I question your right to do that and without permission to create a derivative work. (At Mobhappy Google’s tactics are questioned for other reasons – Who Gave Google Permission to be the Judge and Jury of Mobile Content?.)

Google’s actions cripple every truly mobile web site that its search uncovers, violating the copyright of each and reducing all of them to a lowest common denominator that sets the mobile web back ten years. “Do No Evil” requires that you stop now.

Dave Harper
Founder, Wireless Ink

P.S.
Scott continues the conversation with “Garbage 2.0 In, Garbage 2.0 Out“.

6 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Google: “Page adapted for mobile phone?” Please stop now, you are crippling sites, not adapting pages.

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