Yahoo yesterday introduced the mobile offshoot of its oneSearch service, which the media giant claims will put it ahead of Google’s current offering. The Yahoo mobile oneSearch service delivers locally relevant answers to mobile phone users, something Yahoo says Google has yet to offer within the United States.
“We are now putting search on every mobile phone that has a browser,” said Marco Boerries, senior vice president of Yahoo’s Connected Life business unit, in a statement. “We are delivering the results consumers want with just one search, not a list of Web links.”
With more and more phones incorporating web browsing capabilities, Internet companies are making strides in bringing features like search, e-mail, mapping and other familiar online services to phones. Yahoo’s oneSearch will provide its users with relevant information including news headlines, images from Yahoo’s Flickr, local weather and links to other sites. Additionally, localized information is given to the user once a zip code or city name is entered, enabling oneSearch to begin filtering and providing information.
“This is not a knock on Google per se, but Yahoo has taken that a very specific starting point — your town or neighborhood,” added Gartner analyst Mike McGuire. “The context of many mobile phone searches is going to be very local. That starting point is key, like road traffic in my area.”
The oneSearch service is already offered to 85% of existing U.S. mobile phones with Web browsers, and Yahoo also plans on expanding with the oneSearch service directly added on new and upcoming phones.
“We can now literally cover hundreds of millions of phones in the United States,” Boerries said. When it comes to advertising, consumers can click on an ad, which will bring them to the advertisers’ mobile site or a landing page with a range of information about the advertisers’ offerings.
Yahoo’s oneSearch is expected to expand internationally by mid-year.