AT&T Takes Yahoo for Default Mobile Search

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Yahoo and AT&T have announced that, beginning today, Yahoo’s oneSearch is driving searches made from AT&T’s MEdia Net on-deck search facility on AT&T mobile phones. The move marks the first time Yahoo has managed to become the default mobile search service for a mobile operator’s default portal, and marks an expansion of the partnership the companies announced earlier this year.

“Our customers want mobile search to be convenient and intuitive, and Yahoo oneSearch is an important step for us in delivering that level of experience to them,” said AT&T’s VP of converged services Michael Bowling, in a statement.

Of course, as part of the deal, Yahoo is also pushing mobile search advertising, integrated ads with search results shown on the MEdia Net portal. AT&T’s yellowpages.com will provide local search information as part of the agreement.

Yahoo’s oneSearch enables users to conduct quick searches with results groups around a user’s perceived query intent. For instance, a search for a movie might bring up local show times, along with news articles about the cast. Searching for a sports team might return scores, profiles, and schedules along with a link to the team’s official site. Yahoo oneSearch will also display “relevant” ringtones, wallpaper, games, and other content that can be downloaded and/or purchased via AT&T’s MEdia Net portal, thereby helping ensure nary a search will go by without repeated efforts to “convert” a searcher into a sale.

The deal marks another extension of oneSearch into the mobile search arena; Yahoo has previous announced partnerships with carriers around the world that puts oneSearch in front of an estimated 600 million mobile phone subscribers. Yahoo is reportedly seeing strong search traffic from the Philippines, as well as from deals with European carriers like T-Mobile, Orange, and O2.

AT&T says its MEdia Net portal is available to up to 70 million phone users.

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