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Innovative Search and Advertising System Goes Live In Japan And Sweden

mcn_logo.gifMCN, the mobile search company that uses a unique approach to search, announced the launch of their new advertising product “” which is live in Japan, as well as a new search deployment in Sweden with Tele2, one of Europe’s leading alternative telecom operators.

MCN is a company that I have found interesting for quite some time, as their search solution is based on a “Federated Search” approach which appears to be unique in the market. Basically MCN federates the search results from a number of content partners, rather than trying to index the entire mobile web (see box below on how it works). MCN has over 15 deployments in 7 countries, including NTT DoCoMo, Yahoo Mobile Japan, all three operators in Thailand, and Elisa and DNA in Finland.

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Recently MCN has made two interesting announcements.
The first was the launch of ““. This latest addition lets advertisers buy all the keywords in popular vertical content categories, for example games, music, etc. rather than purchasing dozens or hundreds of individual search terms. Content providers can either buy Content Listing on a PPC basis, or Affiliate positions on a PPA basis.

Since was deployed on Yahoo! Mobile Japan in December, dozens of content providers have signed up already as advertisers. According to music site AVEX (a consortium of leading record labels), allwords offers the highest conversion rate of any paid listing service they have used.

See the full MCN press release.


The second announcement is a deployment with Tele2 in Sweden. In the first of what is planned to be multiple market rollouts, MCN’s platform is now powering multi-channel search services in several popular categories, including Ringtones, Music, Images, Games, Video, Local, Wiki, and Web information search. Tele2 has mobile operations in 13 countries across Europe and Asia.

According to Thomas Persson, Managing Director for InProdicon, an independent provider of digital content for mobile “with MCN we were able to connect in a matter of days with minimal cost and effort.”

“These new vertical search services are what mobile users need to access mobile content and information more easily,” added Per Einar Dybvik, CTO of Aspiro, a leading mobile entertainment company.

See the full MCN press release.

How MCN search works:

Traditional mobile search engines collect information about what content is available through the use of “spiders”, programs that go throughout the mobile web, following links, and indexing what content they find.

When a search request is received, the search engine matches the request with information in the index, and returns the results it thinks are most suited for the consumer. This is the same way that the major internet search engines work.

The problem is that much mobile content is deep in content application servers, and is therefore not able to be indexed effectively (or at all) through spiders. This means content is missing, or the links may be out of date.

MCN does not use the spider approach. Instead, when a search request is received, they directly connect the query to a network of relevant content providers who then use their own internal content listings or search engine to return a direct content result, not a link. This can bring users to the content they seek in 2-3 clicks.

The result is a more complete search of the content available on the content partner sites, plus a more up to date set of links. Of course only content which is from the connected content partner sites is returned, so you don’t necessarily get access to the ‘long tail’ of content providers. However, the effort required to link to the MCN search engine is minimal, so it won’t be a barrier for most content providers.

allwords supported Federated Search: Music Example


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