Google Unveils Mobile Local Search

Google's local search service for mobile will be available in the United States and Canada at

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or from the main Google search page on mobile devices starting Tuesday morning.

Yahoo Inc. in October rolled out its mobile search service, which included local search, amid a fierce rivalry.

Google Local for mobile will enable users to see 10 local search results. The service, which integrates the location of the businesses in search results on a map, also provides addresses, phone numbers and driving directions.

Google's mobile local search service does not currently carry ads.

Web search companies have been keen to break into the local advertising market, which the Kelsey Group expects to reach $5.1 billion in the United States by 2009. The market research firm sees local search advertising accounting for about two-thirds of that total.

Local search ad spending hit $162 million in 2004, the Kelsey Group said.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This is a great way to get directory assistance at no charge. Send a text message from your cellular phone to the short-address '46645' (GOOGL) with the single word 'HELP' and you will get back a help file explaining how it works, including how to get directory assistance. Right now at least, it is all totally free. I've been using it on my Nokia phone via Cingular Wireless for a couple months now as part of the test. Now, you may have to pay your carrier for the cost of a text message, but still, it is much cheaper that Ripoff Bell directory assistance charges. PAT]

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Lisa Minter
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