Mobile search race is on

Janet Babin Mar 20, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: It’s an uphill battle for search engines not named Google. Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘yeah, I’ll just Yahoo the directions?’ Well, Yahoo is hoping to make a name in searches on cell phones. It has a new system for this. Janet Babin reports from the Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.

JANET BABIN: Web searches on cell phones can be difficult. Many phones have only a limited keyboard and a tiny screen can make it hard to read results.

Yahoo’s new solution simplifies the process. So instead of getting Web results that offer more links you have to click on, Yahoo will give you actual information with one click, say, local theatres playing the movie you asked about, instead of film reviews of that movie.

Analyst Daniel Berninger with Tier One Research says the challenge for Yahoo is that these results are not what people are accustomed to.

DANIEL BERNINGER: Since people, when they think of search, they think of a linked list of results and tend to think of Google which has been a problem for Yahoo.

Berninger says many companies, from startups to Google, will be reinventing search options for mobile phones, but a clear winner in mobile search is years away.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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