Yahoo opened up its mobile oneSearch offering to anyone with a phone who can access the Internet. The service, which aims to offer more than a simple list of search results, was previously available as part of Yahoo Go for Mobile, a mobile phone-optimized content offering that is compatible with only certain handsets.
With the expanded launch on Tuesday, Yahoo isn’t hiding which company represents its biggest competition. A button called “Dare to Compare” on the
oneSearch Web site
opens a 21-page document containing screen shots that compare the results of a Google mobile search with a Yahoo oneSearch mobile search.
Rather than displaying lists of links as search results, oneSearch pulls up a range of results, including news headlines, images, business listings and reviews. In the comparison document, a Yahoo oneSearch for “pizza” results in first an advertisement, then name, address and phone numbers of two nearby pizza restaurants followed by a list of categories such as “carry out and take out,” “pizza,” and “restaurant.” Other information that follows falls under categories including Flickr photos, news articles, Web images, products like pizza stones and movies.
The service is designed to make searching for and finding information as quick as possible, Yahoo said.
With the launch on Tuesday, 85 percent of mobile phones on the market can use the service, Yahoo said. OneSearch is initially available to users in the U.S. and Yahoo plans to roll it out in additional languages and countries in the coming months.
The mobile search market has been heating up recently. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Corp. have all begun offering search services tailored to mobile-phone users. They’re also delivering advertisements in their search results, indicating that they may be hoping to capture a potentially large advertising revenue stream from the billions of mobile phone users around the world.
The online giants are competing against handset makers like Nokia Corp. that often include their own search mechanisms in phones as well as startups like Medio Systems Inc. that offer search services that mobile operators can self-brand.