Mobile Search

Aug 8, 2005 • 12:57 pm | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Engine Strategies 2005 San Jose
 

Detlev Johnson is the moderator of this new session. He said mobile search means delivering services down to a cell phone but also can mean a small screen device like a PDA.

Yahoo! is up first, Mihir Shah, Directory of Product Management. Yahoo! User base: 379 million users are mobile. Yahoo has 15 mobile products available across hundreds of mobile devices (communication, information and games). They have developed 50+ relationships with wireless vendors. Why now? Data services are a driver of increased ARPU for wireless carriers. Consumer adoption of enhanced handsets in growing. More enhanced handsets create opportunities for greater usage of data services. Increase in data service usage leads to a demand for more diverse content. Large growth in content makes "Directory style" browsing a pain. There is a need to easily find and access this information. Yahoo!'s goal is to extend Yahoo! services beyond the desktop. They offer user choice; WAP Search, SMS Search and Search Clients. WAP Search: First product Yahoo! has is Web Search. They took several of the most popular Web search shortcuts and applied it to WAP Search. They then introduced "transcoding" to make services more readable. How do publishers participate? Create mobile versions and submit your site to Yahoo!. Second WAP product is Yahoo! Local for Mobile, he demonstrate how it works. And the 3rd product is image search for WAP Search. Now SMS Search, which is basically a text message, send a query to 92466 and they will reply to you with the information. They added to it a "reply to refresh" interactive option. You can basically save your first message and reply to it to get a refreshed version (works well with stock quotes, airline flights). They also added to it is a link to a Web address, if wanted. They also enable you to send information from Yahoo! web to a SMS enabled phone. Choice, Shortcuts and Interactivity is what Yahoo! Mobile is about. Mobile search adoption has grown rapidly; high growth in UUs since end of 2004 (almost 100%) and search is the 3rd most used WAP Service after mail and messenger). Overall user satisfaction with the product is high. mobile.yahoo.com/search has an interactive demo for you.

Google is now up, Deep Nishar, Director of Product Management. He asked how many of you use Web browsing on your mobile device? A nice number raised hands. He then asked how many of you are delighted with that experience, no one raised their hands. He said the medium is the content and not about the Web accessible via the Web. Google had the first WAP (WML) search product in 2000. They launched SMS search late last year (2003). After they launched Google Local, then blogger mobile, Google Search & Image Search. They just introduced the Google Mobile Web search which is a separate index just for mobile content. Mobile.United.Com has a mobile enabled site for tracking flight status (and five other things that are used most often on the site). TubePlanner.com has a mobile ready site, it tells you how to get from point A to point B via subways. Bloomberg.com has time sensitive mobile information for you (btogo.com). So you see why a separate index for mobile sites can be important. Tips for bringing your content to the Mobile Web; (1) link your sites, (2) write for a standard (validate it), (3) make sure you test your site with a reasonable number of phones. Demand for mobile content is high and we need to reach the mobile users and not make them reach us.

AOL Mobile, Ken Thomas, Principal Product Manager. Mission...Great mobile experiences, easy to use for the mainstream. Context; mobile search in beta, suite of WAP services suite, and accessible via mobile portal. Mobile search issues include; too many results, irrelevant, very few mobile sites, "incomplete content" messages, text only experience, and awareness & usability of short-codes. AOL's Solution is relevance (Google Web Search, Yellow Pages Local, Pin Point Shopping) and useful (renders the WWW, images and text supported and WTAI/click to call). Web Search examples; he shows how AOL's products does a good job of rendering these sites (starbucks.com and SES pages). He then showed a local search example, with a little map. Shopping example with pin point and showed some product images. How Does it Work? They partner with InfoGin which does "Right-Sizes the Internet" for mobile phones. Mobile Matrix Transcoder technology (evaluates devices capabilities and more). Advantages; ubiquitous access, existing search behavior, efficient, makes the whole Web mobile, more compelling then text, better experience and still a "beta." Find it at http://mobile.aol.com or http://mobile.aolsearch.com/ or the desktop beta at http://beta.aol.com/.

Matthew Snyder from Nokia was next up to talk about mobile search. Nokia wants to bring value to customers, the mobile phone is a computer in hand. One device for computer and consumer electronics (phone, video, camera, radio, etc.). Number of active mobile users; by 2009 3 billion users will have mobile devices. Desktop search needed; first nokia device with hard disk coming out (on mobile devices), easy access to Web content with small screen is a technology challenge, and with mobile search client nokia can offer a distribution and customer acquisition platform for 3rd parties. mobile Search application User Experience demo: They made an actual GUI interface for the phone which can be used for Searching (they bring three Yellow page companies (eniro, yell.com and fonecta -- for those markets). They integrated an advanced mapping solution for mapping technologies.

Gary Price (SEW News Editor, ResourceShelf.com and Mobile Guru) is now up. http://tinyurl.com/e326p/ (slides at that URL) He is a dedicated mobile user, and he is a treo guy and he loves mobile. Other Services and Companies include; 4info.net (SMS), Upsnap.com, synfonic, smarter.com (Gary goes through some of these products and discusses benefits of them). Specialty Tools; FeedBeep (RSS via SMS), Answers.com, CarRentals.com, SMS Traffic Alerts via MSN Auto, Skweezer.net (makes Web pages load better on mobile), Bloglines Mobile (its great), Nextaris Mobile, Winksite (create a mobile "space"), nextBlast (live DC video traffic optimized for mobil), TrafficLand, Vazu.com (copy/paste, send from Outlook, SMS-based). Vertical Markets; national library of medicine has offered movile versions of PubMed, Merck Manual for Mobile, and LexisNexis and Westlaw. Web Designers; you must create an optimized site or realize there are transcode tools out there trying to convert your site. Opportunities; advertising (sponsored links, AOL is doing it only now), Answering machines, so where will the ads go? Branding + Answers, for example, you do a search for a sports score; "this sport score is brought to you by ABC Company." Future of mobile search is cameraphone searching (mobot.com), hold your camera up to an ad in a magazine, then info about that product will be sent back to you via SMS. So in the future you might be able to hold your camera phone up to a street sign and get info about that area.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.

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Comments:

Oliver Starr "stitch"

08/14/2005 03:47 pm

Aside from the fact that this much text is very hard to read on a mobile device, this was a great post. As the author of the Mobile Technology Weblog (http://mobile-weblog.com), I'm always looking for new tools and services to make the use of mobile devices more efficient. I still think we've got a long way to go towards realizing the ideal interface for mobile web services on small devices, but nevertheless feel you've done a nice job covering most of the best of breed services currently available. I was however surprised that Gary didn't mention a couple of applications that I think would are worth mention; OP3's Shotcodes (http://shotcode.com) are a new kind of bar code that even low resolution camera phones can read. You can download the app and make your own. IYHY (http://iyhy.com), this is an application like Skweezer except with even less clutter and a cleaner, faster interface. I'm going to add your post above to my blog as I think the discussion and list of applications will be useful to my readers. For readers here that have an interest in mobile technology and location based services, please feel free to pay me at visit at Mobile Tech. Thanks! Oliver Starr, http://www.mobile-weblog.com

Tea Vui Huang

08/21/2005 02:09 am

Open Source Project for Google SMS & Yahoo! SMS Search The usage of SMS search mandates the need for consumers to memorize separate lists of abstract SMS short codes and numbers. This unfortunately reduces usability and discourages casual use by the general public. An open source solution has been developed and released to address the usability issue and remove the need for the casual user to memorize separate list of SMS codes and numbers. The solution uses a widely deployed SAT (SIM Application Toolkit) application to present the SMS search engine in the form of verbose and descriptive user-friendly menus. With USAT Front-end for Mobile Applications by Tea Vui Huang, the user is presented with options of items/categories to search for, and prompted with instructions for enquiry information as and when required. The collated information is then duly arranged within the mobile handset by the front-end, prefixed with the required short codes and formatted with the appropriate text spacing. The search request is then sent to the respective SMS number without any involvement of the user. Key features of USAT Front-end for Mobile Applications include: - Open Source Initiative (OSI) Certified Open Source Software distributed under MIT License - Users do not need to memorize lists of SMS short codes and numbers - Users do not need to remember SMS input format / spacing requirements - Users are prompted with full textual description of entry items that needs to be keyed in - Support for low-end cell phones / mobile phones - No major changes required to the system and servers of Telco / Cellco / Search Engine providers USAT Front-end for Mobile Applications http://sourceforge.net/projects/usatfrontend Screenshots / Photos http://sourceforge.net/project/screenshots.php?group_id=145904

Alex Choo

10/31/2005 07:26 am

We have just released TicTap Mobile, which fits nicely for small-screen device. Unlike most 'mobile pages' that are essentially sized-down web pages, TicTap mobile was designed from the ground up to have no graphics and minimise bandwidth usage. You can search for any products from Amazon.com, and is especially useful if you're looking up for reviews of a product while at the shopping mall. TicTap mobile works with any mobile device that supports XHTML mobile profile. The url is http://www.tictap.com/xhtml Alex

Rohit sarma

03/02/2006 09:36 am

i want to search my mobile so help me.

roxy

10/24/2006 08:54 pm

Take a look at these comments and lets see how they can impact the future of the project in terms of role out

Chris

05/04/2007 08:43 pm

Does Amazon.com have clean/small mobile search engine?

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10/11/2007 06:31 am

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mehboob

10/27/2007 05:40 am

iwant to refresh my mobile plz send me code to refresh

affuljoe

04/30/2008 10:58 pm

i formated my phone is not functioning again .

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