Telcos may soon be in the business of selling keywords

I had a revelation today as I met with Ray Tsuchiyama, the marketing director for Tegit Communications (these are the guys behind the famous T9 predictive text recognition in almost all the phones in the world). I was expecting a regular press interview for their new T9 Nav technology but I was surprised to hear something much more interesting than their on-device search. Apparently, the other half of T9 Nav is developing a service that will be out in the latter part of the year, roughly called Off Site Search.

The service will allow local telcos to leverage on the power of keywords by linking certain words to a specific URL. Hence, on the idle screen of your phone if you type say “donuts,” your local telco can simply sell the link to Krispy Kreme, and there’s no way around this convenient system save launching your mobile browser and typing the keywords in your search engine of choice. Note: The new T9 navigation allows you to do a quick search from the main idle screen; no apps to launch; no menu browse. The telco’s job is to define a cloud of keywords and send them over to be linked to sites they favor.

The technology is simple to use. You simply have to type a keyword on your phone’s default menu (it doesn’t matter if you’re using a QWERTY or numerical keypad) and your phone keeps a 2 way sync to your telco updating keywords and their respective links on set intervals.

Stark. Potent. Scary. But profitable (?). The service will be launched in the latter part of 2009. Imagine your local telco auctioning off keywords like “spaghetti” “fast food” or “burgers” to the local food industry for 2 week intervals.

So what does this do for blogging? Will you invest to own keywords like “Apple” “Tech” “technology” “News” or “Politics” to leverage your own blog’s niche?


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