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Yahoo follows Google with oneSearch SMS.


The competition for mobile local search is heating up in India. Close to the heels of Google announcing their mobile SMS search for Indian market, Yahoo! India recently announced its India centric mobile search service called – Onesearch SMS.

This is extension to the mobile search platform –OneSearch– that Yahoo had launched in May of this year. With the launch of oneSearch SMS in India, Yahoo! is enabling all mobile users to search for almost any content through a single SMS sent to 58242 short code.

For example:
• SMS to 58242 with the city name (e.g. Mumbai) returns back the weather
• SMS to 58242 with the company name (e.g. Infosys) returns back the stock quote
• SMS to 58242 with a business name or category and a location (e.g. Pubs Mumbai) returns back the name, address, and phone number of the local business. Up to 3 business listings are provided for each search query with the ability to ask for more by sending an “m”. Local business listings are currently available across the 4 big metros of Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, and Bangalore.
• SMS to 58242 with a news topic (e.g. Eklavya in Oscars) returns back a news article

 Google Mobile Search yahoo onesearch service

To be honest, Yahoo’s Onesearch is exact replica of what Google is offering. Send a query to a particular number and you will receive the search results in form of a SMS.

However, what is going to set them apart is the quality of search results that they will be offering. My initial impressions are that Yahoo has better mobile search capabilities than Google.

OneSearch SMS is available through all major Indian mobile operators including Airtel, Reliance Mobile, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, BPL Mobile, Aircel, Tata Indicom, and Spice Telecom.

With Indian mobile subscribers growing at 90% yoy, it is not surprising that biggies are launching their mobile based products in a hurry.  It will be interesting to watch this space for next couple of years to see who gains the lead.

  1. Manish says

    search via SMS is not fruitfull due to less data exhibit on screen of Mobile and also it contains slow speed of access. However it can be usefull for emergengy callin and search.

  2. Raja Agrawal says

    Thanks for the feedback, Indian Blogger. However, your feedback is not very clear. Please clearly mention why do you disagree.
    Also, going by your judgment of content (relevancy), user experience (ease of use) and marketing ( buzz generated.) lets compare Yahoo/Google Vs the local services like JustDial.

    Content: As these services have huge local database and that has not just been collected from net but built by putting a lot of man hours, so their content ought to be better. Sadly, computers have not beaten human intelligence yet :(

    User Experience: What will be a better experience for you? Asking a man tens of questions about something which he knows very well? OR Typing a whole lot of text on your phone to query the search engine. Also, you can discuss/explore while talking, whereas for every other question of yours, you need to type more text (which means more money also).
    Marketing: How many of Google/Yahoo Ads you have seen on TV (in India). I haven't seen any. But I'm already starting to see ads of JustDial.
    Also, the billboards have started to come up now for local services.

    Once again, I've no personel interest in JustDial :) Its just that I love their services :)

  3. Indian Blogger says

    I actually disagree with Mr Raja Agarwal. With a system like mapquest and GPS not very popular in India, the citizens would want services on the move, and this gap can be filled by the Google and Yahoo. As for the success is considered,   there are theree factors that are required – content (relevancy), user experience (ease of use) and marketing ( buzz generated.)I have always believed that  the catalyst for growth is in the customization of content in terms of geography and language and an increasing shift in content from national scale to local relevance. These sites are going to make money out of this!

  4. Raja Agrawal says

    I do not see the mobile search (via SMS) market to be very successful because:
    Usability: I'll use this service only if I do not have access to internet. Obviously a web search is much more better, both qualitative and quantitative.
    Cost: As both Yahoo and Google are using "Short codes" the cost of querying for a answer is high.
    So to get an answer to a query with just a mobile phone and as-cheap-as-possible I'd rather prefer services like JustDial where you get all relevant information quickly, cheaper and much better.

    I've tried the mobile SMS search and onesearch for restaurants/pubs and most of the time they return irrelevant  results.

    Disclaimer: I've no connection with JustDial or similar services. I've just used them a couple of times and I'm really impressed.

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