Google tweaks mobile search offering

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Google has launched a revamped version of its mobile search for select markets. The service is available in the UK, USA, France, Germany and Canada. The new system offers blended results and has a stronger location-based element. Blended results mix in local and news search results with web search results. In practice this means that Google shows the result type that it thinks is most relevant first. Read on for more and lots of screenshot examples.

The new version also features a redesign which gives the service a cleaner look and feel and closer association with the PC version. 

Google Search Screenshot Google Search Screenshot

A single search box replaces the previous search box with radio option (for search type). 

The results that appear depend on the keywords used. Many results will be pure search results, as shown in the N82 example above. However other results will blend in other information. For example a search for arsenal will bring up information about the last match that Arsenal Football Club played, then some related news (second screenshot below) and finally some pure web search results. Similarly a search for darling news will feature recent news stories about the UK Chancellor Alistair Darling first and then present general search results.

Google Search Screenshot Google Search Screenshot Google Search Screenshot

Some results will automatically trigger a local search (location must be entered manually but is remembered between search sessions). You can see an example of this with garage search shown below. The local results are shown first with, lower down the page, general web search results second.

Google Search Screenshot Google Search Screenshot  

Location based search has been improved. You can enter a location and it will subsequently be remembered and used in later searches (as in the garage example above). Location services are presented in a different format to regular searches, with pertinent information (phone number and distance) displayed on the search results page, and you have the option to view the results on a embedded Google Map. Clicking on a result takes you to a page showing a detailed map and further information (if available). Phone numbers are hyper-linked to allow for direct dial from the browser.

Google Search Screenshot  Google Search Screenshot

Google Search Screenshot Google Search Screenshot

News and image results are still available separately via links at the bottom of all search results, as demonstrated in the screenshots below:

Google Search Screenshot Google Search Screenshot

 Rafe Blandford, All About Symbian, 30 Jan 2008