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Wednesday, 27 February 2008 09:41

Google's mobile search gets more powerful in Australia

Seeking to entrench its hold on the mobile search market, Google has launched a new, ‘more powerful’ version of its existing mobile search tool better customised for the Australian market.

Claiming a faster and more intuitive search interface for mobile phones, Google clearly wants its mobile search tool to dominate on mobile phones just as it does on the desktop.

Although mobile Google search has been available on phones for some time, Google promises that ‘more relevant’ results that are ‘just a click or two away’, and that Australians “will get results that best fit what they're looking for”.

Just as we’ve seen from mobile search services like Yahoo Go or Windows Live, Google says they combine “search results from different bodies of information, so users don't need to sift through both mobile and regular web results, or specify their search type. Instead, Google searches through the whole web, mobile web, news articles, local business listings, and image index to get the information needed and then provides the most relevant results”.

As an example, Google notes that a search for “surfing” provides links to images of surfing as well as web pages.

This means that the search has become more intelligent, something that’s handy when you’re in such a rush to find something online it definitely won’t wait until you get home to your desktop. It also means Google can expect a growing number of users to start searching – or keep searching – on their mobile phones.

Additionally we can expect to see Google do even more work in the mobile advertising space, although its press release did not mention this.

Google are also further taking on Yellow Pages, True Local, Yahoo 7 and other providers of local search content, with Google specifically making note that its “new mobile search also improves the local search experience”.

So, what does that mean, exactly – and what’s the web address for the new mobile search service? Please read onto page 2.

Google says they remember a user's recent search locations, providing “relevant local results in subsequent searches” with no need to retype the location every time.

Whether you're in Perth or Sydney, once you have entered a location, searches for weather or restaurants, for example, return information tailored specifically to that location.

Google’s Group Product Manager Carl Sjogreen said that: "We're excited to introduce Google's new mobile search service, which will make it easier and faster for people to find what they're looking for anytime, anywhere. With millions of mobile phones in use in Australia, our goal is to make the Google search experience even more useful and relevant for users on the go."

You can find Google’s new mobile search service on any phone with a web browser by visiting

Google notes that the new search service isn’t their only mobile offering: Australian versions of Google Maps with My Location (beta), GMail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google News and Picasa have all been available for some time now.

Having all these services available on your phone makes your phone that much more useful,  and because it’s all web based, any changes you make are automatically viewable when you visit the same services on your desktop – no need for fiddly synchronisation software or needing to remember to synchronise.

All up, it’s good to see Google improving their mobile services – and giving Yahoo, Microsoft and others an even higher target to work towards.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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