Mobile search is about to get a boost, as several major Internet companies are ramping up new services designed to encourage marketers to start buying text ads that will run on mobile devices.

Yahoo will unveil a deal with mobile services provider Bango that is designed to make it easier for businesses to buy paid search listings on cell phones.

IAC's Citysearch also is preparing to launch a new mobile search offering next month. Already, Citysearch rolled out a "send2phone" feature that allows users to send themselves text messages of phone numbers and street addresses for listings, in preparation for the new service.

In addition, Google last week said it was testing a new service that allows search marketers to distribute pay-per-click and pay-per-call ads to mobile phones in the United States, the U.K. and Japan.

The new services are all coming just as mobile content and advertising is poised to grow. Last week, The New York Times upgraded its mobile service by making the entire Web site available on mobile phones and PDAs with Web-surfing capabilities. Research firm and conference organizer Informa Telecoms & Media late last week released a report predicting that mobile ad spending will climb to $11.35 billion worldwide by 2011. Mobile TV revenue alone grew to $85 million in the second quarter, according to research firm Telephia.

While the entire mobile content field is expanding, the increased attention to mobile search specifically is the natural outgrowth of the success of paid search on the Web, said Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Marketing Intelligence. "Obviously, it's the evolution of the online marketing model extended into a mobile context," he said.

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