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The Web Marketing Association announces that mobile websites will be added to its 13th annual international WebAward competition as a separate category this year. The WebAwards is the standards-defining competition that sets industry benchmarks based on the seven criteria of a successful Web site. It recognizes the individual and team achievements of Web professionals who create and maintain outstanding Web sites. The deadline for entry in the 2009 WebAwards is May 29, 2008. Complete information and this year’s entry form can be found at www.webaward.org.

“An entire parallel Web universe exists just for phone and PDA users and that universe is expanding rapidly,” said William Rice, President of the Web Marketing Association. “We wanted to recognize that mobile websites have come of age and need to be evaluated not against other sites in their industry, but against other mobile sites. Mobile sites have always been welcomed in the WebAwards, but now they can be adjudicated more effectively.”
Some 40% of Web site operators have launched mobile sites and another 22% plan to do so in the next year, according to a new JupiterResearch study. Driving the growth of mobile sites are factors such as the expansion of 3G networks and smartphones and improving prospects for deriving revenue from mobile advertising. Jupiter estimates that increasing page views and usage will push annual mobile display and search advertising revenue to $825 million by 2012.

Web sites are judged on seven criteria, including design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copy writing and ease of use and receive a numeric score. The Web Marketing Association is building an addition to their robust judging system that will allow these sites to be reviewed by a specific set of WebAward judges enabled for the mobile Web. Winners will be announced in September, 2009.

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