After thinking about last weeks 2 big stories in the mobile space, I realized service providers could play a much bigger role in mobile search. There are a couple obstacles to overcome.
When it comes to mobile search there are two things I want on my cell phone. I want the Yellow pages (of the city I am in), and a map.
Your 411 call gets you to a phone number and or address of a business/person.
The operator performs a “search” of their own within the cities yellow pages.
411 is the universal yellow pages.
But, with all this information, how can service providers dominate mobile search?
Service providers tell cell phone manufacturers what software/platform to put on specific models. In the future this could be a search window or a toolbar.
They have the GPS coordinates that allow location based services (LBS). This provides location and eliminates the user from saying “Manhattan”.
They have access to the yellow pages data of every city directory, but up till now, the feedback is in oral form from the operator.
What they don’t have.
1. A search function
2. A way to resolve the query in data form
When I type in pizza in the search window, they don’t have the technology to resolve that. Using Google on the cell phone doesn’t work for mobile search. It isn’t mobile search. I want the closest pizzeria displayed on my cell phone, not the origins of making a pizza.
They also do not have Internet enabled yellow pages.
What they need is.
1. The Internet yellow pages
2. A search engine resolver application that recognizes keyword/queries..ie pizza, Starbucks, plumber
How do the Yellow Pages get enabled for the Internet?
A search engine (Google) could solicit/request data from every small business. However, I realized it’s way too big of a task and some of the listings probably don’t have email let alone a website …ie ( plumbers, contractors, service cos).
So let’s start from the top down, by letting the yellow pages listings come to them
Yellow pages should start to offer a mobile yellow pages database. This way, one could get an operator provided phone number and a business listing in their Sprint mobile search.
The mobile search engine resolver identifies the keyword, matches up the GPS coordinates and provides relevant search results.
The race for cell phone real estate is on.