Report: Google to be Verizon Wireless' default search

Verizon and Google may be close to establishing a revenue sharing mobile search deal, according to a report which have yet to be confirmed though have certainly not yet been denied.

Both Google and Verizon refuse to comment upon rumors, but a report from The Wall Street Journal this morning said the two companies could close a deal within the next few weeks. Such a deal would establish Google as the default mobile search engine for all of Verizon's handsets in exchange for a share of advertising revenue.

This year, many companies have chosen Google as their default search provider. In May, Sprint Nextel added the Mountain View company's search bar on at least 40 of its phones for a similar ad-sharing deal, and Google partnered with Nokia to be the default search on that company's devices. Browser company Opera actually switched its mobile versions Opera Mini and Mobile back to Google from Yahoo, after a brief period of having the latter as its default search engine.

Meanwhile, Yahoo secured a deal with T-Mobile and its related European carriers to be the default search engine. AT&T, the largest carrier in the United States, has chosen Yahoo to power searches in its Media Net portal.

One of the few places where we haven't seen this kind of polarity between Yahoo and Google on the mobile Internet is in the new mobile browser Skyfire. Though still in its early stages, that browser actually performs a joint search through Google and Yahoo and yields results simultaneously in tabbed format.

Barring that exception, Yahoo remains Google's biggest competitor in the mobile space globally, and actually claims its Yahoo Go application reaches 40% of mobile customers in Asia across nine mobile providers in the continent.

Yahoo may have a larger potential user base, or "reach;" but according to Nielsen Mobile data, Google has more people actually using its search. In June, Google continued its lead with 61% of all mobile searches in the first quarter of 2008. Yahoo was its closest competitor, but with only an 18% share.

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