Characteristics of Mobile Web Content

Paul J. Timmins, Sean McCormick, Emmanuel Agu, Craig E. Wills
2006 2006 1st IEEE Workshop on Hot Topics in Web Systems and Technologies  
The World Wide Web is no longer tethered to our desktops and laptops. The Web has gone mobile, providing instant access to information anywhere and anytime. The mobile Web can be considered a shadow of the World Wide Web, implemented using specialized markup languages and design techniques adapted for comparatively limited mobile phones and PDAs. Despite the growing importance and usage of the mobile Web, surprising little is known about it. This paper presents the results of a study of mobile
more » ... eb content conducted in May and June of 2006. The study examines the content of over one-million mobile Web pages from around the world using a search-assisted crawling methodology to locate and study pages for three of the most popular mobile Web formats-WML 1.0, WML 2.0/XHTML Mobile Profile (XHTML-MP) and Compact HTML (C-HTML). The objective is to study the relative characteristics of these mobile Web content formats, as well as compare them with a similar sampling of non-mobile (HTML) content. We found that WML is the dominant mobile Web content type, although regional differences do exist. We found that all three mobile content types studied were on the same order of magnitude for average page characteristics such as number of links (under 10) and number of images (around 1), but pages in the newest format, XHTML-MP, are 50% larger on average than those in WML. Not surprisingly, all of these characteristics are much smaller than for HTML content pages gathered with the same methodology. In terms of specific features, only 7% of pages used WML cards, but 50% of XHTML-MP servers dynamically adapted the content served based on the user agent. Finally, we found less than 4% of mobile pages contained ad objects, which is much less than for HTML pages.
doi:10.1109/hotweb.2006.355263 dblp:conf/hotweb/TimminsMAW06 fatcat:5gfmnwdebbb3tf6vx5kle6wfte