Google’s Mobile Search January 8, 2008
Today’s paper reported that 4 billion cell phones will be in use by 2010, and this week’s International Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas will focus on mobile applications for those mobile phone users. Expect to see search leaders like Google and Yahoo offering services aimed at the mobile market such as search and mapping, and look for a shift in website design philosophies targeted to the smallest of cell phone browsers.
One popular cell phone based service is Google’s SMS or short message service—a cell phone based search query tool, especially effective for local searches. To test the service, simply access your mobile phone’s text messaging function, type any search phrase, and send your phrase to 466453 (‘GOOGLE’ on most cell phone key pads). Within seconds, you will receive a return text message with Google’s made-for-cell-phone search result.
While tailor made for local searches, the Google SMS tool also offers information on a myriad of requests. For example, my sample text message, Barbara Walters birth date returned the result:
Q&A: Barbara Walters
Date of Birth: 25 September 1929
And the simple message Boston Celtics returned:
Recent game: Jan 5, Boston: 92 Detroit: 85
Next game: Jan 9 7:30pm EST
Charlotte at Boston
Google’s SMS service extends to just about any short search phrase. Type define: any_word to get a definition, use Your_Town weather to get the local weather outlook, and searching movies ZIP_code will return local movie listings.
Businesses need to consider their own mobile search effectiveness, as mobile search replaces expensive cell phone information services for business listings. You will want to make sure you are found by business name and searches for products and services you offer. For example, searches for either Thunder Data Systems in Austin or Corpus Christi or for website design in Corpus Christi will return our local contact information. You can test your own company’s mobile effectiveness at Google’s online SMS space, http://www.google.com/intl/en_us/mobile/sms/#. If your results are less than you’d hoped, give us a call to see if we can help.