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Yahoo Ads in Your Pocket

Yahoo Web search was already available for Internet-connected mobile devices, but now Yahoo is trying to make money off it.

Today, the Sunnyvale, Calif., company announced the beta launch of sponsored search results for its Mobile Web service.

Yahoo spokesperson Nicole Leverich told internetnews.com the beta offering will go live in the U.S., U.K. and Japan.

To optimize the product for small screens, Yahoo will only display one sponsored link on the results page per search keyword.

And at this point, not every search term will yield a sponsored link, given the paucity of advertisers participating in the beta test.

Yahoo will open the product to new advertisers as the beta process progresses, according to a statement.

Google is also trying to get in on the mobile ad front.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that Google is currently conducting a pilot to test mobile ads in the U.S., U.K. and Germany similar to one the company conducted in Japan late last year.

As for Yahoo, Leverich said that the next home for sponsored search results on mobile devices might be on the local search results pages, solving a real need people have when they're out on their mobile phone and need to find the post office or somewhere to have dinner.

JupiterKagan research analyst Sapna Satagopan agreed. She only cautioned that there are many challenges to providing effective local search on mobile devices.

Specifically, she warned that local search better bring back results fast.

"It's a question of how quickly can you get the results back to the person who's standing in the middle of the road, looking for a Laundromat," Satagopan told internetnews.com.