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Mobile & Local Search Japan – CNET Japan Search Conference
Currently there is a panel discussion at the CNET Japan Search Engine conference about mobile search and mobile portals in the Japanese market and innovations in such offerings. On the panel are representatives from Microsoft Japan R&D, Yahoo Japan, LiveDoor, Big Globe, Infoseek and NTT. The overall discussion is revolving around local search, mapping, and integration of advertising and content into mobile local services.
Without the integration of advertising into the services, some Japanese portals will remain paid for subscription services, unlike US mobile search offerings. Yahoo Japan (which also uses the FUSE philosophy)is currently testing Overture ads in Mobile Local and Search and Goo is working with Docomo on pay per click ads.
Most Japanese mobile portals here today are offering additional mobile search services such as mobile RSS aggregation, mobile blogging, news search and other advanced mobile offerings which are more popular in Japan than traditional PC based web search. Just take a walk through Tokyo and you’ll be reminded that Japan, the country which brought the Sony Walkman to the world, is not as wired as it is unwired – as just about everyone uses an iMode (Internet) enabled mobile phone.
The panel discussion is in Japanese, and I can’t understand much of it, but for the most part I’d say that Google and Yahoo should be keeping an eye on the Japanese mobile market, as this is the country of mobile innovation. I’ve met some people from most of the Japanese search companies here, and they seem very eager to help me set up interviews with their search teams and PR reps.
The next speaker is from Yahoo Japan, and dealing with organic listings, which should be pretty exciting.