All eyes are on Yahoo!'s (NASDAQ:YHOO) mobile search initiatives, especially since the Internet giant seems to be getting a head start on Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). More developments heated up this week, although it kind of seems like all the noise is getting just a tad distracting.

Earlier this week, Yahoo! said it's unveiling an initiative called Yahoo! Mobile Publisher Services, which will offer website publishers tools they can use to post and manage ads on Yahoo! and, of course, hook up with potential advertisers. So far, according to MarketWatch, a few of the major advertisers that have expressed interest include Pepsi (NYSE:PEP), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ). This development comes on the heels of Yahoo!'s having expanded its oneSearch service last week, touting its availability on more than 85% of cell phones.

Meanwhile, there have been other tactical advances on the battlefield recently. Both Yahoo! and Google announced new partnerships to offer availability of their services on mobile platforms. Yahoo! said it's linking up with Virgin Mobile USA, and Google said it's hooking up with LG Electronics. Also, bloggers from Business 2.0 noted this week that Google has started serving up ads with its mobile searches.

Let's not forget Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is involved in mobile search, too, despite the distractions posed by the exceedingly well-publicized smackdown between Yahoo! and Google. Earlier today, my Foolish colleague Seth Jayson pointed out how well search is working on his new mobile, which uses Microsoft's Live Search tool on Windows Mobile. Could it be that people are underestimating how well Microsoft is doing with similar initiatives? It wouldn't be the first time everybody was looking over here when something interesting was happening over there. (Just flash back to the first time you ever heard of a new search engine called "Google.")

There's a large monetary opportunity in mobile advertising, so it's no wonder that the cascade of mobile-related initiatives, strategic relationships, and press announcements currently feels like a phone ringing off the hook. Ultimately, though, when the dust settles, it will be interesting to see whether Google might deliver too little too late this time around, and whether its rivals that tend to get a little less investor adulation might win the day in the nascent mobile search market.  

Yahoo! is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Microsoft has been recommended by Motley Fool Inside Value.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.