by Carlo Longino

Mobile Operators' Different Ideas About Mobile Search

from the semantics dept

Mobile search is an area targeted by a lot of startups looking to take advantage of the high interest in it, as well as the perceived lack of attention it gets from big players like Google and Yahoo. What drives the interest from the startups and from mobile operators is the belief that they can wring money out of paid search and advertising, like search engines have done on the wired web. But rather than being an oversight, it's more likely that the big web players are moving very deliberately when it comes to mobile products, based on the realization that mobile search is significantly different than web search. For mobile operators, search typically refers to either content discovery -- figuring out how to direct people to mobile content they can purchase -- or some as-yet unknown way of generating pay-per-click or pay-per-call advertising. That's why web search giants aren't particularly interested: operators are talking about mobile search that's set up for their benefit, not for their users'. So Google or Yahoo not making a huge leap into a full-featured version of its web offering that's crafted for small screens (as opposed to their current scaled-back mobile versions) isn't necessarily a mistake or a shortcoming -- the strategy of offering much narrower and tightly focused task-centered mobile applications and services is a sound one, one that recognizes what users want when they're "searching" from a mobile phone.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Sean, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 11:45am


    So it seems that people are trying to capitalize on mobile phones and their internet searching? Wow.. even if they direct you to things you can download and pay for to use on your phone, I bet there are like 20 sites that offer the same things, but for free.

    I've had a friend ask me to search google for him for websites that offer free stuff for Cellphones, and I've found A LOT. I doubt this pay-per-click stuff will just be something that no one uses. Who wants to pay just so they can SEARCH for something and not even be gauranteed that it will be there? One word: FAIL.

    That's my two cents.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Danno, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 12:02pm

    I think that you're going to have to incentivize the advertisements for the user if you want to make it profitable.

    If I use Mobile Google search or something to look for, I dunno, a florist, I want to be able to see the closest possible florists and not just the ones that payed to be listed. But if they show me a coupon for maybe 10% off if I go to a particular florist, then I might drive my sale to that particular store.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Avitarx, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:18pm

    Google Mobile search works great for me. I don't know what is missing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Brad, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:51pm

    Google PDA search even dials!

    So I run a Smartphone, with Windows Mobile phone edition (2003). When I go to google.com/pda in my browser, the local results even display phone numbers that I can click on and dial directly. Plus I have google maps on my phone, too. It isn't being ignored by big search engine companies, just shitty mobile operators (VERIZON, CINGULAR) block access to it, or to the Google tools that are released for phones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anu Nigam, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 5:11am

    Mobile Search 2.0

    Can you get the community to help make mobile search easier? That is what we are doing at 411Sync.com. The community can create specific searches that everyone else can use. These searches are simple to use and data is returned cleanly which is needed since we are dealing with a phone. We have over 500 community created searches and new ones are added every day.

    Would love to hear thoughts about the idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    naqeeb, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 5:32am

    mobile research

    mobile research is an interesting topic because today mobile is an indespesible part of the life and reareach is incoplete and its effecting the life of billion people

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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