.Mobi to sell mobile search engine


1 May 2008

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Dublin-headquartered mobile domain provider .Mobi revealed yesterday it is planning to sell its find.mobi consumer-facing search tool.

Find.mobi was created by .Mobi’s R&D team to demonstrate an operational mobile search engine that made the most of the mobile web and needs of on-the-go users.

All sites captured and ranked by find.mobi are designed exclusively to work on mobile phones, ensuring that users do not receive search results that will not display on mobile phones. The find.mobi index includes ‘mobile friendly’ sites from all major top-level domains, including .mobi.

“Find.mobi was an exciting project for us. Although we have not – until now – formally announced its availability, find.mobi is already receiving significant traffic,” said James Pearce, vice-president of technology at .Mobi.

“And it has been implemented as a private-labelled mobile search engine for one European operator with additional customers ‘in the pipeline,’ so we feel confident we’ve created a useful, valuable tool.”

Paul Nerger, vice-president of advanced services and applications at the domain name firm, said find.mobi was originally created by dotMobi to illustrate and communicate to mobile search vendors how search should be done to make the mobile web more compelling.

“When we looked at early mobile search sites, we were disappointed,” Nerger said.

“We simply did not think that it made sense to return non-mobile content as part of a mobile query. Find.mobi was built to serve as an example to the search industry to change the way it should think about search when applied to mobile. But find.mobi has outgrown the lab, and now it’s time for find.mobi to get a better home where it can continue to grow.”

It also emerged in recent days that .Mobi is planning to auction off generic domain names for the mobile space, including domains like film.mobi, religion.mobi, drugs.mobi and airlines.mobi.

Earlier this year, .Mobi, which was established by a consortium of technology industry giants, including Microsoft, Nokia, Vodafone, 3, the GSM Association, Hewlett-Packard, Orange, Samsung and Sun Microsystems, brought 14 adult and entertainment-related names to a US domain name auction.

“The generic names dotMobi is making available at this auction reflect the wide range of mobile-consumer interests,” said Amy Mischler, vice-president of identity and brand services at dotMobi.

The domain names to be auctioned at the Moniker TRAFFIC East event on 23 May in Orlando are: airlines.mobi, boats.mobi, company.mobi, computers.mobi, drugs.mobi, escort.mobi, films.mobi, forsale.mobi, men.mobi, mortgage.mobi, records.mobi, religion.mobi, ringtone.mobi, sales.mobi, show.mobi, and strip.mobi.

“These names represent the forthcoming applications and content that will deliver everyday convenience and entertainment to mobile users around the world,” Mischler, explained.

“Imagine an easy-to-access pharmaceutical directory for on-the-spot information at drugs.mobi, viewing price comparisons and consumer reviews while in a store at computers.mobi or finding out about flight delays at airlines.mobi,” Mischler said.

“Of course, those are just ideas. It will be exciting to watch how brands and businesses apply their own creativity to these names to drive interest in the mobile web.”

By John Kennedy