Ask.com Launches Mobile Optimized Search

Ask.com has launched Ask Mobile Search, a web search service aimed at cell phone users, according to CNET.

Ask Mobile Search features navigation shortcuts to minimize keystrokes and provides direct access to key search categories on the home page, like directions, image search, business listings, maps and weather.

Yahoo, Google and MSN have all recently launched mobile search options. Ask.com plans to offer the service without ads – at least for the time-being.

Mobile Ads Continue to Grow

ClickZ reports on the continued growth of mobile advertising.

In particular…

Citysearch:

Available since last week, the newest mobile listings feature from Citysearch allows users to request listings by sending a keyword such as “plumber” and a zip code or geographical location via text message to short-code “CS411″. In response, users receive up to four individual text messages, each featuring one business listing followed by an advertiser message from the current sponsor.

Whitepages:

In the future, WhitePages.com expects to serve ads from multiple advertisers at once. “We’re in the preliminary stages,” continued Netelenbos. “I suspect it ramps fairly quickly.”

Third Screen:

According to Third Screen’s COO Jeff Janer, the firm has signed deals with three other content providers and is in talks with six more…Third Screen enables its mobile service partners to offer banners and other display ad opportunities to their publisher clients.

Channel Sponsors

Google Launches Docs & Spreadsheets

TechCrunch has details of Google’s rollout of Docs & Spreedsheets – the offspring of Google Spreadsheets and Writely.

This is not a deep product integration, but it is another shot across the bow of Microsoft Office…The new site shows all of a user’s writely and spreadsheet documents in a single list, but integration goes no further for now.

Airport Awaits…

Just a heads-up that blogging will be light Wednesday as I have a client trip to Tampa. Amuse yourselves while I’m gone. :-)

New Weekly Prize Added to SEM Scholarship Contest

I’m delighted to announce the addition of a new weekly prize, as part of our Search Engine Marketing Scholarship Contest.

Kim Krause Berg of The Usability Effect, has graciously offered to provide each of the four weekly finalists with a copy of “Please Ring Bell For Service“, an 80-checkpoint guide to making your web site user-friendly.

No search marketer is complete without the skills needed to help clients convert new visitors! The prize will be the perfect accompliment to the copy of “Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day” we’re already giving away to the weekly winner.

Submit your entries for this week’s contest and you could be our next finalist for the $5,000 grand prize package. Send your entry to scholarship AT marketingpilgrim.com.

Blinkx.tv Launches New Look, Video Features

blinkx.tv has announced a new web site with some cool new features for users.

With the introduction of customizable Video Walls, automatically generated popular content Channels,
and a My Playlist feature, blinkx gives users a fun way to interact with online video, customize their own channels, and have more control in how they explore rich media on the Web.

The new Video Wall sounds very cool…

Users can now click “wall it” after searching to create a customized Video Wall of results. The Video Wall is a large screen composed of 25 individual screens, each showing a preview of a different video clip. In this format, users can see many more results at a glance than in a text list, and can scroll over the clips to watch a preview, making it easy to choose the most interesting footage. Users can embed their customized Video Walls in other websites, like their blog or myspace page, so they can share interests with others.

Could Google Face YouTube Lawsuits?

There’s going to be a lot of Google/YouTube coverage floating around this week, so I don’t plan on re-hashing every take on the deal. However, I will post any story that looks at the acquisition from a different angle.

CNET does just that, with their look at whether YouTube may face a flurry of copyright infringement lawsuits, now that it has the financial backing of Google.

Google’s deep pockets “alone will cause a lot of lawsuits,” Lerner said. “Whether or not those end up being successful and really hurting Google’s implementation of YouTube remains to be seen, and whether they’ll have any legs remains to be seen, but…many, many people think that YouTube hasn’t been bought yet until now for that very reason.”