Google’s revamped mobile site simplifies search

Google revamped its mobile search offering, simplifying the search process. Before, you had to enter a search term and then select which index they wanted to search: Web, mobile, local or images. Now you can type in a search term and Google will try to determine what you’re most likely to be looking for and put it at the top of the page. It works in much the same way as Yahoo!’s oneSearch.

Web and mobile results are intermixed below any specialized results.

Sites optimized for mobile phones are indicated with a phone icon. These sites seem to get boosted, but not always to the top. A search for “weather” has the mobile version of weather.com first in the Web pages section. That’s followed by the Web version of weather.com, then Yahoo!’s mobile weather site.

If you click through to a Web page, Google adapts it to fit a mobile device.

The results are generally pretty good. Here’s what came up first for various query terms:

  • “namesake” – Movie showtimes.
  • “pizza” – Local listings.
  • “iraq war” – News.
  • “capitals” – Live score information for the Washington Capitals game in progress. I deliberately picked a vague query term to test the smarts. When I changed my location from Arlington, Va., to San Francisco, the search for capitals didn’t bring up the Caps score.
  • “madonna” – Images.
  • “parks” – Local listings.
  • “goog” – Stock quote.
  • “weather” – Local weather forecast.
  • “gilbet arenas” – Images, followed by news.
  • “antonella barba” – Images. No, not those images. That term seems to be a spam magnet.

There were a few disappointments:

  • null“bush” – Oddly, images before news. The top image (at right) is different from the first result on Google image search.
  • “faccia luna” – I expected local information, not images. Local business names were generally hit-and-miss. Some pulled up business information, others didn’t. I had better luck with chains.
  • “UA 484” – Unfortunately, no flight status.
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About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is CEO of redesign | mobile. Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. His personal blog is at http://blog.agrawals.org and tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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