Yahoo’s oneSearch for mobile phones, previously only available on a select few devices, is now available for more than 85% of all web-enabled mobile phones. “We’re really redefining what search is for the mobile phone,” said Lee Ott, director of Mobile Web for Yahoo.
The Yahoo Go search is designed to be sensitive both to the context of a query as well as the location of a phone. Search results are presented as a series of contextually relevant links and ads, rather than traditional web search links.
From the press release:
For example, if a consumer wants to go to a movie this weekend they just need to type the name of the movie into the search box. The search results would first list the movie, including a user rating, local theaters the movie is playing at, news headlines related to the movie and more. To dig more deeply into the results, a consumer would simply need to click on any item or category. For example, to see all the movies playing at a specific listed theater just click on the theater name.
Postscript from Greg: In my initial tests of the service tonight I tried several local searches for movies, sushi and hotels both in the SF Bay Area and in New York. Generally the results were very good. Because I’m a registered Yahoo user I didn’t have to input location for my area. This, in and of itself, is a big relief. And when I sought to change location it was easy to do so, with recent locations remembered.
Yahoo is placing ads at the top and sometimes the bottom of search results. These are relevant PPC ads, which I found to be unobtrusive. Yahoo is making a point of monetizing mobile search from the outset. So far so good.
The organization and presentation of search results and related information (i.e., reviews, images) make the overall oneSearch experience dramatically better than the old Yahoo WAP search.