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Yahoo Cranks Up Mobile Ad Push

Yahoo  today launched Yahoo Mobile Publisher Services to take advantage of the potential multi-billion-dollar market for delivering content over mobile phones.

The services, which include the Mobile Ad Network, Mobile Content Engine, Mobile Media Directory and Mobile Site Submit, will let publishers and advertisers in 19 countries boost the distribution and money-making potential of content on mobile phones.

The Web portal giant, which competes with Google , Microsoft  and AOL  for online advertising dollars, triggered its mobile display advertising platform on its Yahoo Mobile Web service in 19 countries last month and conducted betas of search advertisements in the U.S. and U.K. last October.

Looking to build on that, Yahoo said in a statement its Mobile Ad Network will allow mobile publishers to have syndicated advertising served on their mobile content and services. Publishers will be able to select the ad formats they want to have run, such as display, sponsored links, video or in-game placements.

Yahoo anticipates this will yield a pool of quality inventory, which its global sales force will try to sell to advertisers.

The Mobile Content Engine will make it possible for publishers, including those who do not have a mobile site, to distribute their content to mobile phones. They can use the engine to make their listings or articles available to consumers by integrating them into Yahoo oneSearch, which lets consumers search and find information thanks to news headlines, images and business listings that appear directly on a Web page.

For example, Yahoo said a real estate company could publish a list of homes for sale, enabling a consumer to get the detailed listing information piped through Yahoo oneSearch.

Along those lines, Mobile Media Directory will allow publishers to make their content, such as ringtones, games, video and applications, accessible through Yahoo oneSearch.

Finally, the new Mobile Site Submit lets publishers provide information about their mobile site, such as a description and relevant tags, to ensure their sites are indexed and available to consumers through Yahoo oneSearch.

Yahoo is no stranger to the lucrative field of mobile advertising, which analysts expect to snowball in popularity once accessing Internet content through a mobile Web browser becomes more convenient and hassle-free.

Earlier today, Microsoft Research start-up ZenZui introduced Zooming User Interface technology, which the company said will make handheld devices more Web-friendly.

Yahoo, which expects the first ads to hit phones in the second quarter of this year, already has launch partners in the Mobile Ad Network, including include MobiTV, Opera and go2.

The Yahoo Mobile Publisher Services will be available in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K., U.S. and Vietnam.