Yahoo, Go2 will display mobile ads

Yahoo and Go2 Directory Systems are partnering to display advertisements along with search results on mobile phones in the United States.

When mobile customers use Go2 to search for information they'll see sponsored advertisements in addition to their search results, much like the experience of searching on from a computer.

The partnership announced Wednesday essentially extends Yahoo Search Marketing to the mobile environment. Yahoo Search Marketing allows businesses to pay Yahoo to have their advertisements displayed to Internet users searching for relevant terms. Yahoo displays the advertisements at the top of the search results in a colored box designated "sponsor results."

Go2 provides search and other local content information to mobile phone users. Sprint Nextel, Verizon Wireless and Cingular Wireless all link to Go2 in their mobile portals.

Yahoo has already offered mobile sponsored search listings in Japan and the United Kingdom and has conducted tests of the service in the United States. The partnership with Go2 marks a commercial deployment of the service in the United States.

Mobile operators and application providers are showing increasing interest in tapping the booming market for online advertising. It's a controversial subject with cell phone users, however, who typically pay operators for mobile Internet access based on the amount of data they download.

The mobile industry is clearly experimenting with how to balance the potential for a new revenue stream from advertising with the need to keep customers happy. Go2 says that the new advertising model with Yahoo helps users get better and more detailed local information.

Another mobile content company, Mobileplay, is using advertisements to support the delivery of free content to mobile users. On Wednesday, Mobileplay added new content providers, including Fodor's,,, and U.S. News & World Report, to its network. Some other content providers charge mobile users, typically a few dollars every month, for access to their content from cell phones.

Orange UK recently said it will start displaying banner ads on its mobile portal page and some operators in the United States have also experimented with mobile advertising.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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