RealTime IT News

Yahoo Sending Search From PC to Phone

Portal powerhouse Yahoo has added a new tool to its local search service that sends query results in the form of a text message from a user's computer to their mobile phone.

Yahoo Local, which provides business listings, became the first major player to offer users the option of forwarding search results from their PC directly to their mobile device using Short Message Service (SMS).

The information with the new service, forwarded from the PC after a simple click of the "send to phone" button, includes the name of the business, phone number and address from the search results. The message also has a link that can send a call to the business, according to the company.

Chris Winfield, president of search engine marketing firm 10E20, said the explosion of mobile phone use over the past several years is one logical reason search companies are moving in this direction.

"Mobile devices are the next evolution in controlling the search market," he said.

Winfield also said the move comes at a time when competition in the Web search market is heating up, and big name players are constantly looking to gain market share in an increasingly competitive landscape.

"Yahoo is always trying to keep users interested, knowing that they have to be proactive in order to keep people on their site," he said.

Yahoo said the service is available with U.S. wireless carriers, Cingular/AT&T Wireless, Verizon, Sprint/Nextel and T-Mobile. Although the company offers the service for free, some carriers may charge SMS fees.

As reported yesterday by internetnews.com, Amazon.com rolled out its latest version of the Yellow Pages that provides 20 million photos of local businesses and their surroundings in 10 major cities. And last October, Google launched an SMS service similar to Yahoo's. It allows users to search for content on Google's site using their mobile phones.