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Mobile Search Not That Hot?

A recent UK survey of mobile phone users suggests that there may be no where near the amount of people using their cell phones for search, as believed.

Just 20% of UK subscribers actually search for content on the mobile internet, despite an industry perception that 89% do, according to research released today, from the Mobile Entertainment Forum and Ovum

What’s more, they’re not searching for restaurants, or directions. Just 2% conduct a search on a daily basis and those searching less frequently, search for ringtones and music downloads.

And remember, this is a UK survey. The Brits are ahead of their US cousins, when it comes to mobile phone adoption and technology. The stats hardly send a warm and fuzzy message to those looking for a broader adoption of mobile content.

Yahoo Inks Mobile Advertising Deals in 18 Countries; Intel, Pepsi Sign-on

Ok, so unlike the Google/Vodafone announcement, news that Yahoo has signed some big name companies to deploy mobile ads to 18 countries, is significant.

Yahoo said it has signed up major advertisers including Hilton’s Embassy Suites, Infiniti, Intel Corp., Nissan, Pepsi & Co, Procter & Gamble Asia-Pacific and Singapore Airlines will be initial advertisers on Yahoo’s mobile advertising system.

While Google’s making deals to add maps to cell phones, Yahoo’s actually signing deals that will bring an immediate increase to the bottom line. Sure, you can argue that adding Google Maps to Vodafone, will bring greater exposure for Google and could lead to ads on those maps, but Yahoo’s deal will see immediate monetization of mobile content.

Vodafone Customers Getting Google Maps for Mobile

One of the world’s largest mobile phone networks, Vodafone, has just announced a deal with Google that will see Google Maps integration for European mobile phone customers.

Google Maps for mobile, a downloadable java application, is expected to offer customers in selected markets easy-to-use maps and local listings, as well as local search and navigation capabilities. Customers will be able to enjoy unlimited use of Google Maps for mobile, subject to Vodafone data tariffs.

Ok, so it’s news. I’d assume that our readers would want to know about the deals Google is making, but is it really that big of a deal? It’s starting to feel overkill to keep posting every single deal that Google makes. There’s no financial details disclosed, so we don’t even know if this is a significant partnership or not.

Cingular and Apple Dropped the SEO Ball with iPhone

There is a reason that smaller agile companies and entrepreneurs will always have a place on the web. Big corporations just don’t get it sometimes.

Take for example Apple’s iPhone launch. Both Cingular and Apple where in the perfect position to dominate the free market for the product. After all, they are the source and in the end, it all comes from them. So how is it that when I search Google for iPhone, Cingular is not anywhere on the first page and the only place you find Apple is in the sponsored results?

In fact, let’s look at the site searches on Cingular.com and Apple.com for iPhone. There is not a single page on either site that is optimized for the iPhone.

Community Driven Yahoo Local Database

Maintaining a national online local database is a daunting task. Errors are very common in local search results. In an effort to clean up their data, Yahoo is promoting user editing of local business listings.

From the Yahoo Local Blog:

It’s time to announce a new feature on Yahoo! Local which empowers you to add your favorite new local business, alert others when an old favorite has closed, and add or change business info quickly. Now you can truly be our eyes and ears in your community!

When a new business is submitted, they promise to have it live within 24 hours. With business listings that are already live, they are testing requested changes by giving future users a pop up and asking them if the requested changes are correct.

Google & China Mobile Launch Mobile Search Service

The world’s largest mobile telecommunications carrier and the world’s most popular search engine have tied the knot and announced their offspring will be named Monternet….ooh, isn’t he cute.

From the official announcement…

Google will provide its world class search engine technology to China Mobile to enable “mobile search” on China Mobile’s Monternet WAP portal, and China Mobile users will be able to easily search Monternet and its vast content, including sports and entertainment news, ringtones, games, images, videos and novels. Users will be able to access the service via a search box or search link on Monternet’s homepage, or through a dedicated mobile search homepage on Monternet. The first-phase service has been partially put into trial operation in December, 2006 and will be launched broadly in the early part of 2007.

Outlook for Mobile Marketing: Billions or bupkis?

Today eMarketer Daily compiled conflicting reports on the future of mobile marketing. According to “Mobile Entertainment’s Potential Sharply Debated” by John du Pre Gauntt (free & live on a limited basis), the predictions for mobile revenues vary wildly:

In November 2006, Juniper Research forecast that total revenues for wireless providers from mobile entertainment in the mobile music, video, TV, gambling, gaming and adult categories would exceed $77 billion by 2011.

One month later, Informa Telecoms & Media followed with a mobile entertainment forecast that stated the total market in 2011 would be $38.1 billion.

eMarketer attributes the $40 billion difference to “wildcards” such as WiFi in the US and international wireless markets, especially China and India which are set to grow exponentially in the immediate future.