Mobile ads are the difference, says Yahoo

Advertising was the key to building the mobile Internet, a top Yahoo executive told the 3GSM conference Tuesday.


Marco Boerries, a senior vice president of Yahoo's connected life division, said the Internet media giant believed the time would come when "many, many more people will access the Net over the phone than over the PC." 


"But it is to be a different model from the Net," he said.


Launching the new version of Go, Yahoo's new downloadable mobile Internet application, he said Yahoo and mobile operators shared the same goals. One was to "dramatically increase the number of mobile Internet users."


"We want to monetize it and we believe mobile advertising is the missing ingredient."


"This whole industry has spent $1 trillion getting licenses, subsidizing phones, and putting all sorts of things onto the phone, and people are still doing basically the same things they did in 1998 and 1999, and that's voice and text."


Advertising is a scalable business, he said. "You build inventory and engagement. Once you do that then you have an advertising business. That's the missing link."


To do this the mobile industry had to "bring the Net to the phone, and not the phone to the Net."


He said that the Go oneSearch function, also launched in Barcelona this week, was optimized for mobile users and recognized the intent of the search.


A search on "New York City", for example, instead of presenting thousands of Web links, would return results useful to a mobile user, who was likely looking for a restaurant, tourist or mapping information.  If the user still wanted the full search result they would also be available, Boerries said.