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Google Dominates Mobile Search

Nielson Mobile said the search giant has more than three times the market share of second-place Yahoo.

Google easily outpaced its competitors in the mobile search market for the first quarter of 2008, a new study from Nielsen Mobile revealed.

The study said Google had 61% of the market. Yahoo was in second place with 18%, and MSN ranked third with just 5%.

Mobile searchers use Google an average of nine times a month, with Yahoo users searching 6.7 times per month. The majority of mobile searchers were looking for general information, while 29% of Google users and 24% of Yahoo users were seeking local information.

As more cell phones feature built-in GPS, the mobile search market is expected to be very lucrative because of location-based advertising.

"Mobile looks like it will ultimately be the highest of ad rates," Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently told Reuters.

Google already has about 68% of the Web search market, and the company has made some strategic moves to stay on top of the mobile search market.

One key was becoming the default search on the Apple iPhone. In February, the search company said it had seen 50 times more searches on iPhones than any other mobile handset.

As part of the Clearwire deal, Google has positioned itself to be the default search engine in select Sprint handsets. The company also hopes to draw more mobile searchers with its upcoming Android mobile operating system.

Yahoo plans to roll out its Yahoo Go 3.0 in the second quarter of this year to target the mobile search market.

But both companies have room for improvement in terms of user experience, according to Nielson's study. Only 44% of mobile Google users and 40% of mobile Yahoo users rated their experience toward the high end of the scale.

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