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Yahoo announces partnerships for mobile search and mobile ads

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Sunnyvale, Calif.—Yahoo continues to make news in the mobile arena. This week, the search engine company announced that its oneSearch mobile search product will now be available to online publishers through a newly created service, giving Yahoo advertisers access to a broader audience.

Yahoo Mobile Publisher Services will allow publishers to include their content in oneSearch. Yahoo said it will roll out in additional country and language versions in the coming months.

“We have a very clear goal at mobile Yahoo,” said Lee Ott, director of product management for mobile. “We’re enabling and growing the mobile business. We’re connecting the advertisers we have relationships with to the mobile audience we’re generating. It’s all about enabling publishers to take their content mobile and monetize it.”

One of the two components of the Mobile Publisher Services announcement is making sure publishers’ content is “discoverable,” Ott said. The other main component is to give publishers access to ad inventory through Yahoo’s ad network, he said.

Yahoo also announced it has partnered with MobiTV, a mobile and broadband TV and music company, for mobile advertising. Yahoo will be the ad network partner for MobiTV’s mobile video advertising sales and delivery. Yahoo said this announcement builds on the launch of Mobile Publisher Services.

This week’s announcements continue to build on Yahoo’s mobile strategy, an area in which it has made major strides in the past few months.

“We’ve clearly laid out our strategy, which focuses on building audience, growing advertising and enabling publishers,” Ott said.

Earlier this month, Yahoo announced the availability of the gamma version of Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0 on Windows mobile-powered devices; Yahoo Go was initially launched in January. And last month, it announced partnerships with mobile phone and telecommunications providers LG Electronics and AT&T Inc.

While most of the movement in the mobile search ad space is driven by the desire to reach consumers, Ott said b-to-b marketers should be in the game, too.

“Right now, especially when you talk about mobile advertising, business-to-consumer is the obvious starting point, he said. “[However,] consumers also work for businesses. Major marketers who want to reach businesses would do well to include that in their thinking.”

Yahoo isn’t the only major Internet portal making mobile announcements. Microsoft this week announced that its IP Ventures will launch a new, independent company called ZenZui that will aim to change the way people use mobile devices to access content.

ZenZui worked with IP Ventures to acquire technology and assistance in securing venture capital funding to help launch the company, Microsoft said.

Avenue A|Razorfish, Kayak.com, OTOlabs and Traffic.com are all participating in a trial of the technology.

ZenZui said the focus is more on the mobile experience than on search.

It’s more about mobile than search,” said Derek Brookmeyer, a spokesman for ZenZui. “Search is a component. The search could be incorporated into the application, but there’s nothing specific ZenZui is working on right now,” he said.

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