Google is going all out to increase the scope for mobile based Web search. After receiving encouraging results in the U.S. they introduced their improved mobile search service in the U.K., Germany, France and Canada last week. They are also laying out the basic infrastructure for new mobile applications, as reported by BBC.
The new service will be more efficient than before for local searches, as they will maintain records of the user’s search location and therefore not require users to enter their address every time. Also, unlike the earlier version where it was necessary to be specific about the search type required, (such as images, websites or local results) the new search results pages provide relevant, location specific results that have been integrated from various sources.
Yahoo! and Microsoft have been much quicker to adopt the Universal Search concept onto mobile. Google has finally caught up, though the quality of results being offered here is not yet remarkable. The image below compares the mobile search results pages from Google, Yahoo!, Ask and Microsoft (in order, clockwise from top left):
A post on the Google Mobile Blog highlights that fact that the improved mobile search experience, also detects the language of the query and automatically delivers the most relevant results in one of the local languages (English, German or French) or via automatic translation.
Google says this service will be much faster than before and will therefore be useful for businessmen. Also, as the mobile search market expands, commercial opportunities for advertisers will increase; but whether mobile advertising will be really beneficial for all businesses remains debatable.
Last week also saw the launch of a UK version of Google Finance, which will provide financial news, stock prices, mutual fund information etc specific to the UK market.
The highlights of this facility are:
- Search preference for UK companies and funds
- Google news integration – organisation of business news according to date and topic etc.
- Interactive charts on market data, news stories, stock prices etc.
- Front page summary and exchange rates
- Blogs and related company information
- Group discussions by experts
- An easy way to create and track portfolios.