Yahoo Unveils New Mobile Search At CES - InformationWeek

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Yahoo Unveils New Mobile Search At CES

OneSearch is Yahoo's bid to make mobile phone search easier to use. For example, typing the name of a sports team in the search box would retrieve the final score of the most recent game, information on the next scheduled game, and other content.

Yahoo introduced optimized search for mobile phones, hoping to boost use of the ad-supported service by making it easier for consumers to find information on their handsets.

OneSearch is part of Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0, a collection of services introduced Monday in beta at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Besides search, the application offers quick access to e-mail, news, entertainment, weather, maps, and other content.

Search remains a cumbersome chore on handsets, with results often presented as a list of Web sites. Yahoo is trying to help mobile-phone users avoid the hassle of clicking around the Web by trying to deliver more direct answers to queries.

For example, typing the name of a sports team in the search box would retrieve the final score of the most recent game, information on the next scheduled game, and other content, including links to a team profile and roster, sports photos, news articles, the official Web site, and more.

Other features include remembering previous queries to auto-fill entries into a search box to save consumers time. In addition, a person can enter the name of any company, and get the link to its site on top of search results.

"Yahoo OneSearch changes the mobile search game by fundamentally improving the way consumers' access and use the Internet on their mobile phones," Marco Boerries, senior VP of connected life at Yahoo, said in a statement.

Yahoo is targeting mobile search as a way to help boost its slowing revenue growth. The company trails Google in the multi-billion-dollar market for text advertising delivered with search results on a home computer. But the mobile market remains wide open, with only a small percentage of the 2-billion handset subscribers worldwide using search services. Google and Microsoft also are aggressively pursuing the market.

Handset makers with phones that support Yahoo's services include Motorola, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, and Research In Motion, which makes the BlackBberry device popular with businesspeople. Yahoo claims that Yahoo Go 2.0 beta can be downloaded today on more than 70 mobile devices from major manufacturers worldwide. The company expects that number to reach more than 400 by the end of the year.

OneSearch is available only through Yahoo Go 2.0. After the end of the month, however, Yahoo plans on distributing the search engine through other mobile services, with additional country and language versions rolling out in the coming months.

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