WSJ: New Google Mobile Content Search Nearing Launch

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) is reporting that Google is preparing to launch a more structured mobile search capability and index for mobile content that may also include social networking features. According to the article:

Google Inc. is developing a new search service for cellphones that will help consumers find and buy ringtones, games and other mobile content ...

With the new system, users would search for a piece of content -- say, a U2 ringtone -- and get back a list of providers as well as links enabling them to easily purchase the material. Eventually, Google would charge companies for high placement in the search results ...

The company has been working for months with content providers -- including large entertainment companies and smaller mobile-media aggregators -- to index their material and make it available via mobile search ...

The Internet company has considered including a social-networking component that would let users of the company's Gmail email service exchange content, a person familiar with the initiative says. Overall, the service would work much like the Google Product Search service, formerly known as Froogle, people familiar with the situation say. A spokeswoman for Google declines to comment.

The ringtones aspect of the hypothetical service would put Google at odds with carriers -- not that that isn't already true to some degree because of carrier Googlephobia.

There's a way in which the article doesn't exactly ring true (so to speak). The article presents the concept of something akin to a separate index or engine for mobile content vs. other Google mobile services. Assuming the article is directionally correct, I would imagine that Google is seeking to create something closer to a better, more integrated mobile experience overall (akin to what Yahoo is attempting with oneSearch) with content and commerce as a subset of that broader mobile search capability.