As I reported on Monday, NTT comrades – #1 cellphone carrier NTT Docomo and Japanese portal Goo owner NTT Resonant – tried to get back search initiative in Japanese mobile web by switching their i-mode iMenu mobile web search from Google on April 30th, but failed with (I guess by too much traffic) trouble and postponed the change. That trouble must be embarrassing and there should be huge number of poor engineers ought to work during national Golden Week holidays.
Today at 6:20 a.m. (Japan Standard Time) May 7th, NTT Resonant updated their first press release [J] and the iMenu default search gives you Mobile Goo search results for all mobile websites. Now Google mobile search is put out from the largest mobile official portal to pasture in Japan (you may still choose Google from bunch of non-default search engines list). NTT Docomo apologized [J] the technical glitch without mentioning Goo or Google.
The third category, PC web search stays the same one by Google’s. As Goo does not have PC web search engine since they decided to abandon their own and borrowed Google’s in 2003. But many cellphone web users do not care PC version websites, so most site owners and SEO companies are now working hard on how to raise their site rank on the mobile search results of Goo’s engine, which they almost ignored until now.
NTT Resonant runs two different web crawlers, one is Wakame (seaweed) and the other one is Ichiro. The crawlers info is here [J] for case if you run mobile websites in Japan.
What NTT Docomo did with Google in 2008 was similar with that US Yahoo did in 2000 on PC search. US Yahoo understated search engine’s importance and switched Google’s solution, and took long time to resume their own by Yahoo Search Technology. I really could not see what motivation Docomo had at that point. Google’s benefit was obvious to get more brand recognition to chase mighty Yahoo! Japan, which somewhat worked.
Oh, by the way, if you feel the brand name Goo sounds fishy, Goo existed before Google was established.
Finally Google Out, Goo In On Half Of Japanese Cellphone
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